Is Thailand safe? Latest travel update as coronavirus cases hit 41 and airlines reduce services

THAILAND has reported 41 cases of coronavirus as it continues to spread across the popular tourist destination.

We've explained the latest travel everything you need to know if you're planning on travelling to Thailand.

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

Thailand was the first country to confirm a coronavirus case on January 12, as cases continue to climb.

What's the latest travel advice for Thailand?

There are currently no travel bans in place for Thailand.

The UK government has warned: "There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus.

"The virus originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province but cases have been confirmed in other parts of China and the region, including Thailand.

"You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the local authorities."

The US State Department has not issued new warnings for Americans travelling to the country and there are no current warnings regarding coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, US citizens in the country should follow the latest advice issued by the CDC as well as from the World Health Organisation.

Is travel to Thailand affected?

Travel to and from the UK continues to remain uninterrupted in Thailand with flights and public transport running.

However, Israel flag carrier airline El Al has stopped all flights to and from Thailand in an attempt to reduce the spread, while Thai Airways, Jetstar and airlines in South Korea and Kuwait reduce flights as well.

Tourism Thailand has insisted that the country is still open and welcomes tourists, although popular resorts at destinations such as Phuket have been deserted.

However, airports including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi will be thermal screening for signs of the disease.

All tourists will also be given health advice on arrival.

The Thai health minister attracted anger after suggesting tourists who don't wear face masks should be "kicked out" of the country.

Thailand has also issued its own set of advice for the public.

Can I cancel my holiday to Thailand?

Any Brits due to travel to Thailand are unlikely to get their money back if they cancel their holiday or flights.
The only time that tour operators are required to give a refund on holiday packages is if the Foreign Office changes its travel advice for a region and turns it into a no-go area, which they have not done in this case.

Independent hotels are not even required to refund money in this instance, so if you have paid in advance and choose not to turn up then you will lose your money.

If the hotel is a large chain, it could be worth asking to change your stay to another location or delay your trip but they are under no obligation to grant this.

Holidaymakers are advised to check with their travel insurance providers to see if there is something they can do, but that is also unlikely.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms are similar to a common cold.

They include:

  • a runny nose
  • headache
  • cough
  • fever
  • shortness of breath
  • chills
  • body aches

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus, such as rhinovirus.

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract (your windpipe and your lungs), it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.

Different travel advice has also been issued to other countries near China.

A leading airline doctor has said that face masks and gloves on flights actually makes the coronavirus situation worse.

Some have suggested using a plastic tent on planes to avoid catching the disease.

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