Important COVID-19 travel guidance
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.
This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.
Thailand is exempt from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)’s advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
From 4am on 19 September, Thailand will be added to the list of countries where self-isolation on return to the UK is not required. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The following advice within Thailand remains in place:
The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to areas within the provinces on the Thailand-Malaysia border, including:
- Southern Songkhla province. This does not include areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom, and areas north-west of and including the train line which runs between Hat Yai and Pedang Besar.
Travel to Thailand is subject to entry restrictions
- At present only certain categories of foreign nationals are permitted to enter or transit Thailand.
- If you’re eligible to enter, you will be subject to a 14-day state quarantine at a Thai government-designated facility at your own expense. If suspected of carrying COVID-19, you may be denied entry into the country
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to Thailand, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
As of 0400 on Thursday 15 October, a ‘Declaration of a Serious Emergency Situation in Bangkok’ is in place. It will remain until further notice. Gatherings in Bangkok of five or more people are prohibited. The publication of news or online messages that “may create fear and are deemed to harm national security” is prohibited. Security officials have the right to arrest, detain and seize the property of anyone suspected of threatening national security. You should follow the instructions of local security officials.
Activists may continue to hold rallies across Thailand in the coming weeks. In Bangkok, potential rally locations include the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, the Ratchaphrasong Shopping District Skywalk near the MBK building and Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, and university campuses. Rallies may disrupt traffic and commercial activity, and there may be a heightened security presence.
Avoid any protests, political gatherings, demonstrations or marches, and be wary of making political statements in public. Lèse-majesté (criticism of the monarchy in any form) is a crime which can be broadly interpreted, and carries a long jail sentence. See Political situation
British nationals make over one million visits to Thailand every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but a small number of British people do encounter problems in Thailand. See Crime
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Thailand. On 2 August 2019, a number of small explosions occurred in Bangkok. On 10 March 2019 a number of small explosions occurred in Satun City and in Patthalung Province in the south of Thailand. The authorities have on a number of occasions warned of the possibility of attacks to coincide with symbolic dates or holidays. Take care, particularly in public places, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media reports. See Terrorism
Urban areas across Thailand, especially in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, can experience poor air quality and high PM 2.5 counts, occasionally entering the unhealthy and hazardous levels. See Air quality
Make sure you research local laws and customs before you travel. Laws and penalties can be different from the UK. Conviction for possession, distribution or manufacture of drugs can lead to the death penalty. See Local laws and customs
There are a high number of road traffic accidents in Thailand especially involving motorcycles. If you’re planning to drive a car or ride a motorcycle, under Thai law you must have appropriate insurance and the correct licence for the category of vehicle you’re using. Not having a valid licence in Thailand may invalidate your travel insurance. Helmets must be worn on motorcycles. See Road travel
The rainy season in much of Thailand is from May to October. See Rainy season
UK health authorities have classified Thailand as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
The Tourist Authority of Thailand’s website and call centre (1672 - press ‘9’ for English) are able to provide some general advice to tourists in English. If you need to contact local emergency services, call 1155 (tourist police) or 1669 (emergency medical services).
If you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. Consular support is not available in the parts of Thailand where the FCDO has existing advice against all but essential travel (as set out above).
If you’re living in Thailand or planning to stay for a longer period, check the Living in Thailand guide in addition to this travel advice.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.