Coronavirus: Thailand U-turns on visa on arrival, visa-free entry cancellation

An immigration officer wears a protective mask due to the coronavirus outbreak, as she waits for passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 12, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The government has put on hold its plan to suspend visa on arrival (VoA) for 18 countries and visa-free entry from high-risk areas (South Korea, Hong Kong and Italy) after an urgent meeting on Thursday (March 12).

The Department of Consular Affairs director-general, Mr Chatree Atchananant, said the matter will be discussed further at a Cabinet meeting on March 17.

He said that in the cases of citizens of countries to whom Thailand provided tourist visas for up to 60 days, that could be suspended but in the cases of some countries such as South Korea, Hong Kong or Russia, some details on the agreement needed further scrutiny.

"The cancellation announcement on March 11 could be applied to countries we offer tourist visas to, meaning we can stop it immediately," Mr Chatree added.

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