Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Thailand on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Thailand.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest health advice on travelling to Thailand from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. This has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy whilst in the country. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re in Thailand.

Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available in the UK are considered controlled substances in Thailand. Restrictions tend to apply to medication containing narcotic and pyschotropic substances, which means that you may not be able to bring certain types of medicine into Thailand. You can find more information on the website of the Royal Thai Embassy. You can find further guidance on the NaTHNaC website on best practice when travelling with medicines.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Health risks

Rabies has been reported in domestic and wild animals, and there have been fatalities. You should avoid direct contact with animals and take precautions to protect yourself.

There are excellent private hospitals in Thailand but they can be expensive. Public hospitals and clinics in Thailand do not always meet UK standards, particularly outside Bangkok. Many hospitals require guarantee of payment. Make sure you have adequate health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost.

UK health authorities have classified Thailand as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with the Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Dengue fever is present in Thailand and the number of reported cases is rising, some of these have been fatal. To avoid Dengue Fever, Zika Virus and Chikungunya virus you should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Water supply

Thailand’s Metropolitan Waterworks Authority advise that there is no risk to public health from drinking tap water. If you are concerned about the risks to your personal health, you should drink bottled water and/or get medical advice.

Air quality

High levels of air pollution can occur in major urban areas, including in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which is also affected by regional smoke haze. The high pollution and PM 2.5 counts, occasionally enter the unhealthy and hazardous levels. This may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can check air quality levels for many cities in real time on the World Air Quality Index website.

During March and April there is often smoke haze and resulting poor air quality and pollution across parts of the north, north-east and south of Thailand, this can also close regional airports due to visibility. Keep up-to-date with local information and seek medical advice.

Medical treatment

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 1669 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Prescriptions issued in the UK are widely accepted at hospitals and pharmacies across Thailand. Patented brand name medication can often be considerably more expensive than locally produced equivalents. Most private hospitals and larger pharmacy chains have English speakers available, should you require a consultation in the event of an unplanned extension of your stay.

Medications which are only available on prescription in the UK like Viagra, Cialis and Valium are readily available in popular nightlife districts across Thailand. Medication sold on the street may not be genuine and/or may have been stolen. Taking medication without medical advice or a prescription can have serious health consequences.