Thailand cancels visa on arrival for 18 countries, visa exemptions for 3

A health official checks the temperature of an incoming passenger during a health assessment at a checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday. (AFP photo)

Thailand on Wednesday cancelled the grant of visa on arrival for 18 countries and visa exemption for three others to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said.

Previously, nationals of 18 countries or territories could use their passports or travel documents to apply for Visa on Arrival (VoA) at Thai immigration checkpoints.

The 18 places are: Bulgaria, Bhutan, China (including Taiwan), Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu.

Visa exemption will be cancelled for South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong, the interior minister said. 

Gen Anupong said all arrivals from those countries have to apply for visas at a Thai embassy or consulate and travel with a medical certificate to prove they are not infected with the virus.

The measures will be temporary until the situation improves, he added.

The interior minister has authority to enact the regulation under the Immigration Act.