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, reports the Bangkok Post.
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, the report said.
Visa exemption will be cancelled for South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong, the interior minister said, reported the Bangkok Post, also citing a report by Reuters. (See story here.)
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.
However, the Royal Thai Embassy in Moscow late this afternoon posted a notice plainly explaining that the new requirements do not apply to holders of Russian passports.
“Please be informed that according to the Bilateral Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Thailand dated from 13 December 2005, holders of Russian passports are permitted to enter into the Kingdom of Thailand and stay up to thirty (30) days without a visa, in accordance with terms of the Bilateral Agreement,” the statement said.
“The latest news on the Thai Government’s decision to temporarily suspend visa on arrival (VoA) for 18 countries DOES NOT affect holders of Russian passports. Russians can still visit Thailand for 30 days without visa,” it added. (See post here.)
The notice by the Thai Embassy in Moscow made no mention of the new requirement to present a medical certificate in order to enter Thailand.
Confirmation that the temporary suspension of visas on arrival (VoA) for 18 countries did not affect holders of Russian passports was also posted on the Russian Embassy in Thailand’s official Facebook page. (See here.)
As of 8pm tonight (Mar 11), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had not posted any announcement regarding the status of Russian passport holders. However, the website still listed Russians as permitted to enter Thailand without a visa. (See here.)
According to statistics by the Ministry of Tourism & Sports, 1,483,453 Russians visited Thailand last year, generating B103.78 billion for the country.
In March 2019 alone, 194,471 Russians visited the Kingdom, generating B13.224bn. (See statistics here.)