Situation in Cha-am concerning the Coronavirus (March-April 2020)

We will keep this article here as a testimony of what the lockdown was like in Cha-am and in the rest of Thailand during the Covid-19 pandemic. For information concerning the easing of the lockdown (from 17 May 2020), please see this article.

Cha-am, like Thailand and like the rest of the world, is facing the Coronavirus pandemic, and some local cases have been reported. Many places are closed, while people are advised not to travel and stay at home as much as possible. Here is the current situation – last update 22 April 2020 at 3.00 pm – and some advice.


There is a national curfew from 10.00 pm to 4.00 am (starting Friday 3 April and until further notice). Violators are liable to a jail term of up to two years and/or a fine of 40,000 bahts.


Most places where public gather are closed all over Thailand and of course in Cha-am, this includes tourist attractions, bars, amusement parks, massage parlors, golf courses, box stadiums, gyms, swimming pools… In Hua Hin malls and cinemas have been ordered to close, but pharmacies, supermarkets and food courts (take-away only) can stay open. In Phetchaburi province there was a lot of hesitation concerning beauty salons and hairdressers, but the Governor eventually ordered them to close. Banks and administrations remain open, but only with minimum service for some administrations. Hotels that are still open are ordered to serve only their guests. In Cha-am all beach activities like kite or jetski have been suspended, as well as chair rentals, to prevent any gatherings.


Starting 10 April an alcohol ban has been ordered in the province of Phetchaburi, which means that is forbidden for all stores, shops and restaurants to sell alcohol. No date was given for the end of the ban, but in other provinces the ban will last until April 30, so it should be about the same for Phetchaburi.

Restaurants, markets and delivery

Restaurants can stay open but only for take-way, no food or beverage can be consumed on the premises. Delivery services are still available. Supermarkets and shops selling necessary items can stay open, convenience stores too (so hoarding and panic-buying is not necessary). Cha-am fresh market is still open (4.30 am to 7.00 pm) but everybody must wear a mask and there is only one point of entry where temperature is checked and hand sanitizer gel offered.

Masks and social distancing

Wearing a mask in public is now mandatory in the province of Phetchaburi. Violators are liable to a fine up to 20,000 bahts. Social distancing is also mandatory, don’t get close to other people and respect the instructions where required for sitting, standing or queuing in public.

Travelling to another province by public transportation

Travelling inside the country is not recommended, and thus being made difficult. Airlines have stopped their domestic flights or are about to do so, trains are suspended, minivans lines have been reduced and bus tickets can’t be bought anymore, as buses can be only 50% full to maintain social distancing. In Hua Hin, the traffic of minivans (from/to soi 51) and buses (to Bangkok, Ubon or Korat, as well as the airport bus) is being progessively reduced before being completely shut down.

Travelling to another province by private car

If you travel by car, you may be stopped at a provincial border checkpoint and asked for a medical certificate, or denied entry. However, if your vehicle is registered in a neighbouring province, if you can show your passport and if you have a good reason to travel (and if you wear a mask and doesn’t have any fever), you shouldn’t have any problem. Please note that you may have to fill in a health declaration (T8) and accept to have a tracing app installed in your phone.

Leaving Thailand by air

Foreigners who wish to go back to their country should have done so a long time ago, as it is getting more and more difficult. If you really want to fly out, you should confirm the available flights with your embassy, and stay close to the airport right now.

Coming back to Thailand

Thailand’s borders are now closed, if Thailand is your home as a foreigner, you can’t come back whether it is by air or at a land border.

Staying in Thailand

On 8 April 2020 it was announced that every foreigner whose visa or extension of stay ends on or after 26 March 2020 gets automatic extension until 30 April. This delay was then extended to 31 July. If your visa or extension of stay expired before 26 March, you have to clear your overstay with Immigration before you can get the automatic extension. If you are on B, O, OA, ED… visa and your extension is due soon, you can renew your extensions normally (Immigration doesn’t close and it’s not too crowded). 90 day reporting is also suspended. Before 31 July it will be announced whether there will be an extra month or all goes back to normal and a period will be set to apply for new extension of stay or leave the country without fines.

Stay safe

The end of the crisis is still far, so keep yourself informed. Keep yourself busy, make the most out of the time you have. Don’t go outside unless you really have to, talk to your neighbours… and stay safe.

Emergency phone numbers

Cleaning operation at Cha-am market, photo courtesy of บรรณรต ตนเดินทาง on Facebook.

Check point near Hua Hin airport (please contact us for photo credit).

Inside “I love Bread”. Not closed, but take-away only!

“Social distancing” at Makro Cha-am.

4 Comments on Situation in Cha-am concerning the Coronavirus (March-April 2020)

  1. Thanx for your Corona updates, much appreciated. Regarding beach restrictions there seems to conflicting information, apparently according to the Petchaburi FB page the beaches are TOTALLY off limit.


    • Hi Klaus thank you for your message 🙂 The beach in Cha-am is not cordoned off as far as I know (at least it was not yesterday), so you can still go for a walk, but all activities are forbidden, and in Thai it says “including all group activities”, so in a strict meaning it means that people can’t go out with friends and sit and eat on the beach. It’s like all the rest, if they notice that too many people still gather on the beach, they might just cordon it off. But for now it’s rather quiet.

  2. Hello. I came in Thailand 16/03 for a plane to Holland 30/03 but all flights are cancelled till Juni 2020. I live in Cha Am and have to extend my toerist visa in Tha Yang. What do I need?
    Thank you in advanc for your help.
    Herman van Rossum

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