The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has urged travellers to Thailand to act with extra caution as a 60-day state of emergency was declared in the capital city of Bangkok and surrounding provinces.
The announcement comes in response to growing unrest in the country as anti-Government protestors continue to block parts of Bangkok to try and force the Thai prime minister to resign.
According to local Thai media at least nine people have died since the wave of protests started last year.
The state of emergency gives the government the power to control crowds and censor media, but it remains unclear how it will be enforced.
The FCO said the situation is “unpredictable” and further protests are expected. It said travellers should take extra care and avoid all protests, political gatherings, demonstrations and marches.
It also said to allow for extra time when travelling to the airport and to keep monitoring local news and social media.
The main protest sites the government urged travellers to avoid are at the major intersections of Sala Daeng, Asoke, Ratchaprasong, Pathumwan, Victory Monument, Lat Phrao and the government complex at Chaeng Watthana. Some protest sites are located close to shopping malls.
The FCO said there have been attacks involving weapons and explosives at protest sites and protest marches. Attacks have taken place during the daytime and at night.
‘Safe to travel’
Thai Airways has told its business travellers that the country is still safe to travel to. Its international general manager for UK and Ireland, Wit Kitchathorn, said: “Thai Airways wishes to reassure all passengers travelling to Bangkok that it remains a safe place to travel to. Our advice would be to avoid any areas where protests are taking place.”
Kitchathorn said the airline was still operating a normal service throughout the demonstrations but urged all passengers to arrive at least four hours prior to their scheduled flight departure time.