Coronavirus in Thailand, seen from Bangkok
This whole situation about the COVID-19 in Thailand and all over the world have been out of control.
A few weeks ago I was writing in this same post about how the outbreak could be an opportunity for travelers.
At that time, there was only a few cases of coronavirus in Thailand, and the main tourists attractions were deserted by (mostly Chinese) tourists and hotels and tours were offering incredible deals.
On paper it was safe to travel and a really good opportunity.
But now that's a whole different story.
On Saturday 21 March, the government announced the number of cases drastically increased (+188 in one day) and Bangkok's governor decided to close all "non-essential" businesses until further notice.
A decision followed by other cities in the country.
So how is the coronavirus situation right now in Bangkok and Thailand ?
Where to get information about the COVID-19 in Thailand ?
As someone who have been in Thailand for a few years, it's nothing surprising.
But I understand that if your plans depend on what the government decide, you want to follow closely how the situation evolve.
So for the latest up to date information about the COVID-19 in Thailand, especially for people who travel to Thailand, you can follow :
- Richard Barrow in Thailand
He’s a teacher and blogger living in Thailand. He does a tremendous job at keeping his social media accounts up to date with the latest news about Thailand, including what’s going on with the COVID-19.
- The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Department of Disease Control
- Update on the numbers of cases in Thailand (and the world) on Worldometers
- As of March 26 , 2020, the PM have declared a state of emergency and closed the borders at least until April 30.
That mean only Thai Nationals, Diplomats and Foreigners with a Work Permit can enter the country with a medical certificate and an insurance that cover the COVID-19.
For those in Thailand, also check this interactive map that list all the information related to the COVID-19 in Thailand (all cases with their status, sanitization operations...) :
Really helpful if you want to be over cautious and avoid the areas of Bangkok and other cities where some people got infected.
How's the situation in Bangkok ?
At first, Bangkok wasn't hit too much by the coronavirus.
Then, earlier in March, the government canceled events and large gatherings in Bangkok and around the country.
A few days later, they decided to close all the bars and clubs for 15 days.
This 15 days were quickly extended until further notice.
And on Sunday 21 March, they now moved to close everything except supermarkets and convenience stores for the foreseeable future.
As of March 23 2020 when I'm writing this line, there's no quarantine or lockdown into place in Bangkok or Thailand.
But as the number of cases of coronavirus are quickly growing in the country, most of Thailand is now in the same situation as Bangkok with most businesses close and people asked to stay inside.
You can already really feel the difference a lot in Bangkok.
That's usually one of the most lively city you've ever and seeing it so quiet is shocking.
A bit sad too.
The only thing we can hope is that people will be disciplined, as they are in Korea and Japan, and we can get through this quickly with the least amount of casualties.
Now I wouldn't recommend you travel to Thailand or plan a trip to Thailand in the near future.
First, a lot of airlines are suspending their flights until the situation get better. That alone make it almost impossible to travel anywhere.
So even if you decide to come, you might have a hard time to find a flight, depending on where you're flying from.
And, the Thai government didn't completely closed its borders (yet), but they're now asking for a medical certificate (that is almost impossible to get when hospitals arounds the world are overwhelmed with patients) and a health insurance that include COVID-19.
Needless to say, there's really little chance you'll be traveling to Thailand anytime soon.
Should you travel to Thailand after the COVID-19 ?
Even though it's impossible to know when the coronavirus crisis is gonna end, it's the perfect time to do your research.
No doubt that when the coronavirus crisis is over, it's gonna be one of the best time EVER to travel to Thailand.
I really believe mass tourism is gonna take some time to come back to the level it was before the crisis.
So arguably, it's gonna be one of the best time to travel to Thailand, right after nature had months to recover and right before the level of tourists go back to record numbers.
Tours and hotels will be less busy after a long break and they're probably gonna offer some special deals to attract people to come back as soon as possible.
Even better, right now, the Baht is finally going down after record highs in 2019.
So you will get more for your buck.
In fact, if you're coming now to Thailand after this COVID-19 outbreak, you'll have the beautiful temples and beaches for you, and you're gonna have the best value for money we've seen in years.
In short, it's not a bad idea to use this time to start to plan your trip to Thailand.
How are you dealing with COVID-19 ?
I know it's a tough time. Especially for those who are in quarantine.
Personally, my life have been similar to quarantine since last year as I'm going as I'm shifting to a different career.
So I take that precious time to focus on my blog and my business to be ready when the crisis is over and we go slowly ease into a new normal life.
But I'm always curious to know about you.
What are you doing to stay busy?
Are you working out? Leaning new skills? Watching a ton of movies? Reconnecting with friends and family (online of course)?
Let me know in the comments.
For more official information about COVID-19 :
And start to plan your trip to Thailand with my travel tips and recommendations.