Bus Operator Confirms Ban on Foreign Travelers in Pandemic

A passenger fills out a questionnaire before boarding a bus at Korat Bus Terminal on June 8, 2020.
A passenger fills out a questionnaire before boarding a bus at Korat Bus Terminal on June 8, 2020.

BANGKOK — A major operator of intercity bus services on Thursday said foreigners are banned from its services due to the coronavirus emergency law.

Although bus routes operated by The Transport Co. have resumed most of their services to provinces across the country as of today, foreign travelers are not allowed to board their buses because they do not possess Thai national ID cards, a customer service agent said.

“They don’t hold Thai ID cards, so they can’t board our buses,” she said when reached for comments. “We need them for identification purposes.”

Asked whether passports can be used instead, the agent said no.


“It’s the company policy, sorry for any inconvenience,” she said.

The Transport Co., a state enterprise, also announced on its website that it reserves the right to book a ticket for Thai nationals only, citing an unspecified clause under the Emergency Decree.

Other interprovincial bus providers don’t have such a rule. Private operators such as Nakhonchai Air and Sombat Tour said foreigners are welcomed on board, but they are encouraged to check with local quarantine requirements since some of the provinces still enforce 14-day quarantine for foreigners.

Foreigners are also allowed to board long-distance trains, the State Railway of Thailand said.


Domestic travel restrictions, which had been put on since April, were mostly lifted after the government shortened the curfew by one hour on May 29 due to lower numbers of new cases reported in the country.

Thailand reported no new case of infection on Thursday, according to Panprapa Yongtrakul, assistant spokeswoman for the government’s COVID-19 crisis center.

The country’s cumulative cases of infection now stands at 3,125. As of Thursday, 80 patients are being treated at hospitals, while 2,987 have recovered.