In another significant step towards reopening Thailand to international tourists, from 1 November 2021, fully vaccinated visitors from
46 countries 63 countries/territories will be allowed to enter without the need for lengthy quarantine. It’s great news for anybody looking to return to Thailand and a welcome boost for the beleaguered Thai tourist industry, but there are some important points to be aware of before you book your flight. Notably, a RT-PCR test is required not only before departure, but also on arrival in Thailand. And visitors must book into a hotel for one night and wait for a negative test result before being allowed to travel freely in Thailand.
Fully vaccinated travellers flying to Thailand from the following countries/territories are able to take advantage of the new rules:
Australia | Austria | Bahrain | Belgium | Bhutan | Brunei Darussalam | Bulgaria | Cambodia | Canada | Chile | China | Croatia| Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hong Kong | Hungary | Iceland | India | Indonesia | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Japan | Kuwait | Laos | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malaysia | Maldives | Malta | Mongolia | Myanmar | Nepal | Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Oman | Philippines | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Romania | Saudi Arabia | Singapore | Slovakia | Slovenia | South Korea | Spain | Sri Lanka | Sweden | Switzerland | Taiwan | UAE | UK | USA | Vietnam
More countries are scheduled to be added in December.
Before booking travel
If you want to travel to Thailand, you must still comply with a number of regulations. While the proposed system isn’t as complicated as it was for the so-called Sandbox destinations, there are still some important points to be aware of:
- Must have been in the approved countries for at least 21 consecutive days before departure date.
- Upload your documents via an online platform before travel. The existing Certificate of Entry (COE) is set to be replaced by ‘Thailand Pass’.
- Insurance with minimum cover of US$ 50,000 to cover the cost of the treatment and any other medical expenses related to testing positive for Covid-19
- Stay one night at a SHA Plus or similar hotel (hotels with approved Covid safety protocols).
- Hotel must be booked and paid for in advance with payment to also cover the RT-Covid test on arrival and an Antigen Test Kit (ATK).
- Proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 issued at least 14 days before your travel date.
- Children under 12 years of age, travelling with their parents or guardians, are exempt from the vaccination requirement. However, children under 12 must have a medical certificate with a RT-PCR lab result indicating that Covid-19 is not detected and issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.
- On arrival, you will be required to proceed directly by the approved airport transfer to the Covid test centre/hotel. You will then need to wait at the hotel until the test result is received (should be available within approximately 8-12 hours).
- You will be required to download and install any specified apps (currently the MorChana app).
- If you test negative for Covid-19, you can then travel anywhere in Thailand.
- Travellers will also be issued with an Antigen Test Kit*.
*At the time of writing there is ambiguity on this. It isn’t clear whether the ATK is a precaution and to be used if you experience Covid symptoms or if it is to be used a week into your travel and the result shown to the hotel where you are staying at. It all seems unnecessarily complicated and this may or may not change.
Different rules may apply for Thailand expats or Thai people flying from Thailand e.g. to Europe for a short holiday or to visit family and then returning to Thailand. Check in advance what rules are in place when you travel.
This is another huge step in the right direction and will be welcomed by tourists and also by businesses in Thailand who desperately need international visitors to return. At the same time, critics will point out that it isn’t truly quarantine-free travel if you still have to, in effect, quarantine for your first night’s stay. But it’s significant progress and, hopefully, by the end of 2021 or early 2022, the restrictions will be eased further.
For all the details, please see the official information here from the Tourism Authority of Thailand Newsroom. You should also check the information available from the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country.