Dhaka: Thailand has become the latest country in the region to grant foreign tourists with automatic visa extensions. If a foreign tourist's right to remain in the kingdom expired on or after March 26, it has now been automatically extended to April 30 without that person needing to visit immigration to apply for a visa extension, or pay any fine.
If the Emergency Decree currently in place in Thailand to try and combat the spread of COVID-19 is extended, tourists will receive an additional 30 days from April 30.
If a person's right to remain in Thailand expired before March 26, the automatic visa extension does not apply to them and they need to contact immigration.
Foreigners with resident visas who normally reside in Thailand but are now overseas and cannot return, have also been granted an extension of their compulsory return deadline and will need to make their way back to Thailand as soon as the situation improves within an as yet unspecific period by the Immigration Bureau.
Temporary border pass holders from neighboring countries issued on March 23, or thereafter, have been allowed to stay in Thailand until the borders reopen when they will be given seven days to leave.
All shopping malls and entertainment venues in Thailand have been closed, restaurants can only do take-away, provinces have set up border check-points and banned the sale of alcohol - especially over what would traditionally be a holiday period next week, and put curfews in place.
The flag carrier Thai Airways has ceased operations until May 31 at the earliest, schools are closed until July 1 and the government is actively trying to encourage people to practice social distancing and, where possible, to stay at home.