It’s official; the Thai government announced last week that Thailand will open up to fully vaccinated travellers from 46 countries from November 1st.
These 46 countries are considered ‘low-risk’, including the UK and several other European countries, the US, China, Australia, and New Zealand.
Alongside this announcement, the Prime Minister also confirmed that the nighttime curfew in place would be lifted across 17 provinces from November 1st, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, and many other tourist destinations.
However, the ban on alcohol consumption in bars, restaurants, and other entertainment venues remains in place. The Prime Minister has suggested lifting this ban from December 1st, but this is as yet unconfirmed.
This potentially constitutes a massive boost to the Thai economy, to those involved in the tourist industry in Thailand, and to travellers everywhere desperate to experience all that Thailand has to offer.
Let’s have a look at how travellers can visit.
What happens if you visit from a country not on the list of 46?
Vaccinated travellers from countries deemed ‘high-risk’ by the Thai government can still enter Thailand but must undergo a different entry process. Regarding what needs to be presented at the airport, the entry requirements are the same as above. However, the difference comes in that these travellers will need to pre-book a 7-night stay at a SHA+ approved hotel in one of the 17 approved ‘blue zone’ destinations – essentially, all the tourist areas are covered within this. Only after they have completed their 7-day hotel stay and received a negative PCR test and a negative antigen test on day 6/7 can these travellers freely explore and move about Thailand.
What happens if I test positive?
If travellers receive a positive RT-PCR test, travellers will be taken to a hospital and quarantined there. Details on how this will be managed are not yet clear.
What is Thailand Pass?
Thailand Pass replaces the old certificate of entry that used to be required to enter Thailand. At least 7 days before travel, travellers must head to tp.consular.go.th to fill out their application. Travellers will need to upload the various documents required through the portal – proof of vaccination, medical insurance, and reservation as outlined above. Once the application is completed, a QR code will be generated. Travellers will need to show this QR code when passing through immigration in Thailand.
What about travelling with children?
Travellers under 12 years of age, travelling with their parents or guardians, are exempt from the vaccination requirement but must have a medical certificate with an RT-PCR result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected. This must be issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.
What about flying domestically within Thailand?
After travellers have completed their pre-booked reservation and received their negative test results, travellers are free to explore Thailand. This means that they can fly domestically or take trains and coaches to other parts of the country. If flying, no further testing is required on domestic flights, and proof of vaccination is not needed. However, travellers will need to comply with airline regulations, such as mandatory mask-wearing.
What if I’m not vaccinated?
Unvaccinated travellers can still enter Thailand but will need to complete quarantine at a state-approved hotel for 10 days before being free to explore. They will also need to undergo two RT-PCR tests – first upon arrival on day 0-1, and the second on day 8-9 as part of the Alternative Quarantine (AQ) programme.
What about the situation in-destination? What restrictions are there?
First, a reminder that all travellers with Discova will benefit from our rigorous health and safety procedures. Traveller safety is our priority, and our teams comply with these standards to ensure passengers are suitably cared for. This includes the provision of masks and hand sanitiser and regular cleaning of frequent touchpoints.
In Thailand, mask-wearing is common, and travellers will see that the local population is conscious of following government advice regarding social distancing and mask-wearing. Travellers will notice that mask-wearing is mandatory in some public places, such as malls or 7/11 convenience stores.
Besides this, the general picture is one of a slow return to normality. For holidaymakers to tourist destinations like Phuket and Krabi, travellers will observe resorts slowly coming back to life. Many businesses have struggled through the pandemic, with many unfortunately not making it through such a torrid time for the industry. We anticipate, over the coming months, a gradual revival.
It has long been believed that once Thailand announced a reopening, other countries in the region would follow suit. With Bangkok’s established status as a hub airport, Thailand is often a gateway to neighbouring countries.
This has already proved to be true. Following closely on the heels of the Thailand news, Cambodia recently announced it would be opening its borders to vaccinated travellers from November 30th. The country’s two popular beach destinations, Sihanoukville and Koh Rong, will be open for quarantine-free travel. Siem Reap, home of iconic Angkor Wat, is earmarked to allow visitors in January.
Entrance requirements are likely to be very similar to those for Thailand, though all the precise details have not been confirmed yet. We will continue to update you on the situation as we know more. Heading into the next few months, it seems reasonable to predict that other countries will follow Thailand’s lead and open up for travellers.
Our friendly, well-informed teams are always happy to help with any questions you may have. Please get in touch for the latest updates, and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have.
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