The Cabinet, during its meeting on 21 April 2020, approved the draft notification of the Ministry of Interior on a second automatic visa extension for foreigners to stay temporarily in Thailand.
The objective is to avoid mass gatherings, as large numbers of foreigners are likely to travel to meet immigration officials for visa extensions, and this may lead to a risk of COVID-19 infection.
The Ministry of Interior on 7 April 2020 issued the first notification granting an automatic visa extension until 30 April 2020 for foreign visitors whose visas expired on or after 26 March 2020, in an effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the draft notification approved by the Cabinet on 21 April 2020, the period of time permitted to stay will be extended from 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020. This means that foreigners whose visas had expired as from 26 March 2020 will be permitted to stay until 31 July 2020 without having to apply for an extension.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has extended its ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages from 20 April 2020 until 30 April 2020, in an effort to reduce the chance of social gatherings, which could cause the further spread of COVID-19.
The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration on 21 April 2020 reported 19 new COVID-19 cases in Thailand, raising the number of confirmed cases to 2,811. Out of the number of confirmed cases, 2,108 have been cured; 655 are still hospitalized; and 48 have died.