Finding information about traveling during the pandemic can be a bit of a minefield, with different sources seeming to contradict one another and it often proving difficult to find accurate, up to date information on where’s open and how you can get there. Thailand has been struggling with a lack of tourists in the past year, but the country is fully open for travel – and here’s how you can get there.
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility – Visa, Or No Visa?
Thailand’s entry requirements throughout the pandemic have changed several times, often leading to confusion about who is able to visit the country at present. As it stands, the country is open to travelers from all nations – though whilst some countries don’t need a visa to travel, others do.
The following countries do not require a visa for a stay of up to 45 days in Thailand due to their visa exemption scheme:
Andora, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein. Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Sweden, UAE, UK, USA, Vietnam
Travelers from other countries – Lao, Macau, Mongolia, Russia – can stay for 45 days due to a Bilateral Agreement arrangement, whilst those from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Korea and Peru can stay for up to 90 due to similar arrangements.
Those not listed can apply for a Special Tourist Visa (STV). The STV allows travelers to enter for a maximum of 90 days, however it can be extended twice for a further 90 days each time. It is available for foreigners from low-risk countries, according to Public Health Ministry regulations. When applying for the visa, a booking in one of Thailand’s quarantine facilities for 14 days must be included, as must proof of somewhere to stay for the rest of the visa’s duration and evidence of travel insurance that covers up to $100,000 for Covid-19 and $400,000 for other medical expenses. See below for information about the quarantine and insurance.
Step 2: Quarantine Accommodation and Covid-19 Insurance
For those applying through the STV, quarantine accommodation and Covid-19 insurance must have been secured when making the application for the visa. For those entering without a visa, a stay in one of Thailand’s Alternative State Quarantine facilities is mandatory, as is Covid-19 insurance to the tune of $100,000. The insurance must cover the length of the trip. Here are some reputable insurance companies that can meet the requirements needed in order to be able to enter Thailand.
Whilst quarantine at present lasts for 14 days, from April 1st it will be reduced to 10 days – unless the traveler is coming from a country where mutated strains of the virus are prevalent. The country is also set to lower the quarantine period for vaccinated travelers to 7 days, though only for those vaccinated within three months of travel. Thailand’s quarantine facilities can usually be expensive, but some good bargains can be found – here’s where travelers can check availability and prices.
Step 3: Certificate of Entry
All foreigners traveling to Thailand must apply for the Certificate of Entry (COE). The certificate is applied for online, and travelers must upload documents such as a copy of their passport, a copy of visa if necessary and a copy of their insurance policy. Once pre-approved, travelers must buy flight tickets and then upload a copy of their flight tickets and ASQ booking confirmation. Finally, when the application in approved, travelers can download their COE.
Step 4: Fit To Fly Certificate and Negative Test Result
Prior to boarding a flight, travelers must have both a fit to fly certificate from a doctor and a negative Covid-19 PCR test result. Both must be obtained within 72 hours of departure. On top of this, travelers should prepare all necessary travel documents – passport, declaration form, insurance policy, ASQ booking confirmation and flight reservation – in order to ensure a smooth travel process at the airports. Enjoy your flight!
Step 5: Quarantine and Beyond
Upon arrival in the country, travelers will undergo a Covid-19 test upon arrival, before being ushered directly to their hotels for quarantine. Travelers will be tested twice during their quarantine, and will be free to go if testing comes back negative at the end of their stay. From there on out, they are free to enjoy all Thailand has to offer.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com