AUSTIN — For more than a decade, people in the U.S. have been traveling to Thai destinations for their own medical and family reasons, and now the restrictions are in effect for anyone who wants to travel there.
The U.N. agency that oversees travel has said the ban will force some travelers to seek medical attention for diseases such as cancer and hepatitis B. Some travel experts say the restrictions could discourage tourists from coming to the country.
On Monday, the U,S.
State Department and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued new guidelines, saying Americans who have been diagnosed with a communicable disease or have traveled to Thailand may be barred from travel to the Southeast Asian nation for the next 30 days.
They said the restrictions will not apply to U.K. citizens who have traveled abroad to visit family or friends.
They also said the U’s travel ban applies to U,K.
nationals and U.A.E. nationals who have visited Thailand in the past 30 days, or to people who have already been granted visas to visit Thailand.
The United States has been cracking down on travelers to Thailand since a 2013 crackdown that led to the death of a British man who was detained in Thailand for almost a year.
U.S.-Thai relations have been strained by the Thai government’s policies toward a separatist movement in the western region, and tensions have grown in recent months.
A Thai official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Sunday that a Thai court issued a preliminary ruling Friday on a case in which the American was convicted of murder for the 2013 killing of a Thai man who had died of hepatitis B in Thailand.
The Thai official spoke on the condition of not being identified because of the sensitivity of the case.
In April, Thailand’s Supreme Court upheld the conviction, but it issued an emergency ruling ordering the U to lift the ban.
“It’s the responsibility of the U,” the U official said, adding that the State Department, which has been in contact with Thai officials, is advising U. S. citizens to avoid Thailand.
The State Department said it will release further guidance on travel restrictions in the coming days.