Health and Travel Alert

March 26, 2020

On March 26, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced that it would grant an exemption to the enhanced COVID-19 screening measures described in the March 22 Travel Alert to U.S. Citizen passengers transiting Thailand, provided transit time is no longer than 24 hours. In order to qualify for this exemption, travelers must also have a “fit to fly” health certificate from an examining physician.

The CAAT stipulated that this exception will be in place only until 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020.

As explained in the March 24 Travel Alert, all commercial flights between Vientiane and Bangkok will be discontinued after March 27 until further notice. Thai Airways will operate one flight on March 27. U.S. Citizens interested in this flight should contact Thai Airways immediately.

Most remaining commercial air options out of Laos are to China.  According to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, U.S. Citizens can transit Chinese airports without a visa.  However, U.S. Citizens should be aware that Chinese authorities have taken stringent measures to prevent and detect COVID-19. You should expect to be screened for COVID-19 upon transiting China and, if you display symptoms, you may be subject to quarantine.

Please understand that the U.S. Embassy cannot arrange travel for individual U.S. Citizens. Nor can we influence other governments to alter or abrogate their immigration laws to facilitate travel by U.S. Citizens. However, we are in constant contact with the State Department on repatriation needs in Laos.

The Embassy is actively exploring other options to assist U.S. Citizens in pursuit of repatriation to the United States. If you would like assistance with repatriation, please fill out this survey.

Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.

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