TAT update: WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic as Thailand intensified measures for travelers.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

WHO upgraded COVID-19 a pandemic while agreeing to further cooperation with UNWTO in viral disease response as Thailand heightened measures to curb the spread of the virus.


Bangkok, 12 March, 2020, at 13.00 Hrs. – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide the latest update that as the World Health Organisation (WHO) upgraded the status of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from epidemic to pandemic, Thailand has also intensified measures to curb the spread of the virus.


WHO characterises COVID-19 as a pandemic

On 11 March, 2020, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, “WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock, and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.

We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic.

Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.

Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It does not change what WHO is doing, and it does not change what countries should do.

We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.

And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time.”

To see the full announcement, click “WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 11 March 2020


UNWTO and WHO agreed to further cooperation in the COVID-19 response

On 11 March, 2020, WHO and UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation) also announced their agreement to further advance the two agencies’ coordinated response to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.

Both United Nations agencies stressed the need to include the following guiding principles: 

  •         The importance of international cooperation and responsible leadership at this critical time.
  •         The solidarity of the tourism sector and of individual tourists, as well as the responsibility both have for helping minimise the spread and impact of COVID-19.
  •         The key role tourism can play in both containing the COVID-19 outbreak and in leading future response efforts.

To see the full announcement, click: UNWTO and WHO agreed to further cooperation in COVID-19 response


Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health announced COVID-19 control measures for travellers

On 11 March, 2020, at 15.30 Hrs., the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, announced the “Measures under the Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558 (2015) to control the Coronavirus /Disease 2019 or COVID-19.”

The announcement contains measures as needed and appropriate to ensure the safety of the people, including screening procedures, quarantine and self-monitoring.

To see the full announcement, click to download: Measures under the Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558 (2015) to control the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 and Q&A regarding the Measures for Travelers.


TAT as a state-run enterprise is doing its utmost to strictly implement preventive measures and heighten awareness for all tourists in Thailand to protect them from being exposed to the virus. At the same time, TAT is working on measures to help Thai companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, survive the virus crisis.


We are constantly providing updates on the COVID-19 situation in Thailand at the TAT Newsroom (https://www.tatnews.org/), or tourists can keep up to date with the situation at the Department of Disease Control (https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index.php). For information and assistance relating to Thailand’s tourism, contact the TAT Contact Centre 1672 or Tourist Police 1155.


*This press release is published on 12 March, 2020, at 13.00 Hrs. All information is accurate at the current time but can be changed depending on the situation. The TAT Newsroom will not be updating this press release but will issue new updates as soon as further information becomes available.

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