The 30-day extensions are being issued to both tourists and foreigners staying on other types of visas, confirmed Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Udom Thongchin.
“It is very difficult for foreigners to leave the country due to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation, and doing so right now risks infection,” Lt Col Udom admitted.
"So we are issuing 30-day extensions in accordance with immigration regulations that allow for such measures during special circumstances, such as an outbreak of disease," he added.
The extensions cost B1,900 each, Lt Col Udom confirmed.
However, any foreigners seeking to extend their stay must have letter from the embassy or consulate of their home country, he stressed.
“The letter must be from the embassy or consulate requesting that the Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau allow the foreigner to stay in the country longer. It must name the foreigner and it must have the sentence that the foreigner is unable to travel due to the COVID-19 coronvirus situation,” Lt Col Udom said.
"It must be an actual letter, to be hand over with a copy of their passport at the Phuket Immigration Office during office hours,” he said.
Any persons already on overstay but yet to receive such a letter from their embassy can wait until they have the letter in hand, Lt Col Udom said.
“Immigration can wait for this,” he said.
Lt Col Udom confirmed that foreigners were being turned away from the Phuket Immigration Office in Phuket Town if they were not wearing a face mask.
"Please, any foreigners coming to the Immigration office must wear face masks. If they don’t have one, they will have to go get one first, then we can talk," he said.
Lt Col Udom pointed out the immigration officers wore gloves while interacting foreigners and handling documents submitted at the office.
"Also, we clean the seat and table every time after people use it,” he said.