Thailand is now open to vaccinated travelers from 63 countries with only one night isolation, but the first tourists back to the country are complaining that the new Thai Travel pass is not working as well as it should causing problems with entry.
Thailand Now Open For Tourism With Only One Night Isolation
While Thailand has been open to travelers throughout the vast majority of the pandemic, its strict quarantine requirements deterred most travelers from coming.
As of last week, vaccinated travelers who have stayed a minimum of 21 days in one of 63 approved “low risk” countries and territories– including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada – now only have to face one night in quarantine.
The idea was that arrivals must show a negative PCR test result before and after flying to the country, take another test on arrival, self-isolate for one night in a hotel while they wait for the results, and – assuming the result is negative – may then freely continue traveling around the country.
However, now the biggest obstacle travelers fave is navigating the Thailand travel pass.
Thai Pass Required For Entry
To obtain a QR entry code and enter Thailand, travelers need to enter the following information into the Thai Pass:
- Vaccination Certificate or Card
- COVID-19 Health Insurance Certificate
- Confirmed ASQ hotel booking or Confirmed SHA+ hotel booking (with pre-booked RT PCR test)
- Flight Booking
- Copy of Thai Visa (if required)
This one-stop digital system was brought in to replace its lengthy Certificate of Entry (CoE) process.
Once the criteria for entry are approved, the pass generates a QR code that is scanned upon entry to the country.
But online forums and Facebook groups show that the system isn’t working as smoothly as planned.
Travelers Reporting Issues With Thai Pass
Multiple travelers on the Facebook group Thailand Reopening reported many issues ranging from problems uploading PDFs, error messages, and never receiving a QR code despite multiple applications, which could put them in danger of missing their flights.
Users of the system also reported challenges chasing up their applications once submitted, with no clear communications center behind it.
“It’s a great idea, but without perfect tech backing it up, you really need a person to help in a jam,” said Nikki, a US-based applicant waiting for clearance who asked for her surname not to be used. “Thai Pass doesn’t have that, which can feel hopeless and frustrating.”
The pass had so many glitches and unresolved user questions in its first week that it made headlines across the country.
The Bangkok Post reported on “complaints by some tourists that they had either experienced delays in receiving QR codes or in some cases had not received them at all, following the approval of their travel applications.”
As more travelers enter the country, the Thai government says they are working on fixing it.
On Sunday, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has been alerted to the problem and instructed state agencies to fix the new online system.
“Thai officials are working to fix and improve the Thailand Pass entry system for incoming passengers by air following a growing number of complaints during the week as users encountered bugs and difficulties in using the system and getting the appropriate approval in time to meet flights and bookings,” reported the Thai Examine.
Mr. Thanakorn said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with the Digital Government Development Agency to improve the system, adding that verification of vaccine documents will now take no more than three days, compared to the previous seven.
Travelers planning a trip to Thailand should submit their documents into the system well in advance to ensure they get the QR code in time for their flight.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories