Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taiwan suspends visa service

Only special categories of travelers will still be accepted: TTEO

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Tourists waiting to renew visas at the Bangkok Immigration Bureau 

Tourists waiting to renew visas at the Bangkok Immigration Bureau  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Thailand Trade and Economic Office (TTEO) in Taiwan announced Tuesday (March 31) that it is suspending regular visa services temporarily because of measures to fight the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Thai government declared a state of emergency from March 26 until April 30, with one of the measures being a ban on foreign citizens entering the country, which last year welcomed 39 million tourists. As of Tuesday, Thailand counted 1,651 infections including 10 deaths.

According to the latest declaration from the TTEO, only a limited number of foreign nationals are still allowed to enter Thailand and only under certain conditions. Pilots and crew members of flights to the country will be able to enter if they have a “clear schedule to depart,” as well as “carriers of necessary cargoes” who will be asked for a “prompt exit,” the TTEO stated.

Diplomats and officials from international organizations need a certificate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while foreign citizens with a work permit or with permission from government agencies to work in Thailand can enter after having obtained a visa. However, both diplomats and foreigners with a work permit need to present a “Fit to Fly” health certificate issued within 72 hours of the flight's departure.

Immigration also has the right to refuse entry to persons they suspect of having been infected with the coronavirus and to individuals who refuse to undergo relevant testing.