THAILAND IS NOW OPEN!
Once a popular destination for tourists, Thailand is opening its doors again to travellers from the rest of the world. The Thai government lifted some of the travel restrictions and quarantine requirements that were implemented during the crisis. Prior visitors to outbreak areas can now enter Thailand without quarantine. After spending more than six months monitoring travellers closely, Thai officials have found no COVID-19 cases in previously infected areas.
Thailand is preparing for a return to normalcy by easing some travel and tour restrictions and quarantine requirements and allowing regular travellers to visit. In line with this, the government has introduced Sandbox programs allowing vaccinated travellers to enter the country without quarantine if they are vaccinated against COVID-19. Thai officials believe that these programs will help encourage tourism, one of Thailand’s primary sources of income.
Travelling to Thailand
Starting 1st November 2021, Thailand will be implementing new measures for travellers coming from or transiting through certain countries. Under the new regulation, travellers can enter Thailand without being quarantined if they can prove that they have received previous vaccination.
There are three schemes for overseas travellers known as Green (Test and Go), Blue (17 Sandbox Destinations), and Red (Alternative Quarantine – AQ). Please refer to the information below:
(Image Source: https://www.thaiembassy.com/)
Good news to all travellers from the listed Low-Risk Countries, you can travel to Thailand with less paperwork, no quarantine and enjoy a hassle-free holiday in Thailand! The requirements mentioned above also apply to passengers who have just arrived from a low-risk country.
Tourists from the listed low-risk countries can now enter Thailand without having to undergo the vaccination and quarantine process. The requirements include being fully vaccinated for more than 14 days before travelling, residing in your native country for at least 21 days before departure, booking a SHA+ hotel for one night upon arrival, and possessing COVID-19 insurance.
As an international traveller, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to get into Thailand. You can rest easy if you are entering Thailand from one of the following countries:
(Image Source: https://www.thaiembassy.com/)
What is the SandBox Program?
Travel to Thailand under the Sandbox Programs and enjoy some of the most popular locations in Thailand!
The Thai government offers both the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus Sandbox programs, which gives fully vaccinated travellers from non-listed countries to visit Thailand. These programs require that you stay at a designated SHA Plus Hotel in Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi, Samui, Koh Phang Ngan, or Koh Tao and make it a requirement to be monitored for seven days before leaving the resort to enter the broader region of Thailand.
The hotels in these regions welcome their new guests with a fresh start: cleaned rooms, restocked amenities, and daily beach cleaning services. Hotels participating in this program will also provide their guests with support services such as airport transfers.
Update: Effective 1st November 2021, Sandbox programs are now available to any country or territory, provided that you can present a Thai visa, visa on arrival, or visa exemption. It has been extended to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and other popular tourist spots.
Alternative Quarantine Procedure
International travellers who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated will be required to spend ten days in a designated quarantine hotel in Thailand before travelling to other parts of Thailand. The hotels are located in Bangkok, Samui, and Phuket.
Is Visa required to enter Thailand?
Since 1st December 2020, those who visit Thailand by air or land, nationals of countries on the Visa Exemption List, are no longer required to obtain a visa before arrival. However, if they need to stay longer than the period granted, they must apply for an extension of 30 days at any local immigration office. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the extension is valid only for 60 days.
Please note that a 60-day Tourist Visa, Thailand Elite Visa and other non-immigrant visas are available at Thai embassies and consulates worldwide. Holders of these visas are still required to apply for the certificate of entry at Thai embassies or consulates at their point of departure.
Thailand Pass (COE) Required for Entering Thailand
Effective 1st November 2021, the Certificate of Entry (COE System) will be replaced with a Thai pass. The main goal is to help achieve the country’s plan to make travelling to Thailand easier as it reopens its door to the world. It will also expedite the uploading of travel documents and traveller’s information.
Thailand Pass is a free web-based system that is created for international travellers. This new system replaces the old Certificate of Entry documentation process, and the Thai pass makes it more convenient for tourists to apply for an entry pass. This is required for everyone who wishes to travel to Thailand.
Foreign travellers must show proof of insurance policy that includes COVID-19 treatment up to $50,000 and should be accompanied by a negative PCR test taken in the last 72 hours of departure.
Tourists 12 years old and below who are travelling with their parents are exempt from the vaccination policy.
What Visitors Can Expect
Starting 1st November, curfew in Bangkok and other areas have already been lifted. This means that visitors can enjoy more of the attractions in the country.
Establishments like sports and tattoo studios, spas and pools, cinemas, museums and art galleries, and historic sites are open but still observe strict health measures for everyone’s safety. The number of guests allowed is limited to 75% to maintain proper social distancing. Restaurants in Bangkok are operating during their regular business hours and can serve alcoholic beverages. Restaurants under orange, dark-red, and red zones are still prohibited from selling alcoholic drinks. Also, clubs and bars in the whole country are still closed. Wearing face masks is required in all public places, and temperature checks are mandatory. People who are not wearing face masks in public will be subject to a fine.
Here’s the updated list of the colour-coding zone as of 1st November for your reference:
Dark Red: Chanthaburi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani Songkhla, Tak, and Yala provinces.
Red: Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Lop Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phatthalung, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Sa Kaeo, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Satun, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Trang, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani provinces.
Orange: Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Mae Hong Son, Maha Sarakham, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Phayao, Phrae, Roi Et, Si Sa Ket, Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Surin, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, and Yasothon provinces.
Yellow: Bung Kan, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Nan, and Sakon Nakhon provinces.
Blue: Bangkok, Krabi, Phangnga, and Phuket provinces.
The pandemic is a challenging time for us all, and we’re glad to see Thailand back and ready to welcome the world again!