Foreign tourists who are unable to leave Thailand would be given a grace period from August 1 to September 26 to apply to stay for a specified period, said Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, the bureau commissioner.

However, if they do not obtain extensions and are still in the country after September 26, they would face legal action and be blacklisted, Bangkok Post reported.

Numerous foreign visitors at Nonthaburi Immigration Office on March 23. Photo: Bangkok Post

He urged foreigners to contact the bureau as soon as possible to prepare for their next steps in order to avoid crowding as the September 26 deadline approaches.

Foreign visitors must specify their reasons and submit necessary documents when seeking to renew short-term visas, which will be granted for 30 days, he said.

If they are unable to return because there are no flights or due to lockdown measures in their countries, they must submit proof. The granting of a short-stay visa will be made on a case-by-case basis.

He said the bureau had asked the Council of State about the proposed short stay and it had advised that the Interior Ministry could issue an announcement.

He said the Interior Ministry's visa relief measures for foreign visitors would be submitted to the cabinet for approval next week. The bureau would later issue guidelines on how to apply for a visa extension.

He estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 foreigners were stranded in the kingdom due to the lockdown.

Source: VNA