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Thailand Delays Reopening All Entertainment Venues Until January 15

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Travelers looking to visit Thailand this winter will be disappointed to hear the nation won’t be opening its entertainment venues until mid-January. 

Thailand has recently taken huge steps to fully reopen the nation to international travelers when they dropped quarantine measures for 63 countries. However, travelers still face massive restrictions within the country. 

The Continued Closure Of Entertainment Venues

Thailand closed all entertainment venues — such as bars, pubs, and nightclubs — in April due to rising cases of the Delta variant, which slipped through Thailand’s strict border restrictions and sent the nation into lockdown. 

The authorities found the first clusters of the Delta variant in Bangkok’s Thonglor nightlife district in March. Health officials suggested entertainment venues were the catalyst for the continued growth of COVID-19 cases. 

Beautiful Night Scene of Thailand

As a result, the government has now pushed the long-awaited reopening of bars until January 15, 2022, despite COVID-19 cases reaching their lowest level since May. 

The CCSA had a general meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and opted to keep entertainment venues shut until mid-January. The government will only allow alcohol sales at restaurants within ‘blue zones.’ These ‘blue zones’ include Phuket and Bangkok. 

Since November 1, Thailand has reopened restaurants within four different provinces:

  • Bangkok 
  • Krabi 
  • Phuket 
  • Phang Nai 
Chinatown Bangkok Thailand

However, the authorities in Phuket have allowed alcohol sales in restaurants since October. That’s despite the island’s so-called reopening in July when the government introduced the sandbox schemes. 

Regulations on the hour’s alcohol sales within ‘blue zones’ vary depending on the type of province. Some provinces have curfews on alcohol sales whereby tourists can’t purchase alcohol past a certain time. 

Thailand’s Confusing Entry Requirements 

What’s more, Thailand’s current entry requirements have caused frustration among many international travelers. Despite the nation being open — albeit with incredibly strict restrictions — for most of the pandemic, the restrictions have deterred most travelers from entering. 

As of last week, fully vaccinated tourists who’ve stayed a minimum of 21 days from 63 ‘low-risk countries — including the U.S, Canada, and the U.K. — only have to complete one night of quarantine. 

Travelers have to show a negative PCR test result before and after landing in the country. Then, travelers would have to self-isolate on arrival for one night. If travelers received a negative COVID-19 test, they can travel freely around the nation. 

But now the biggest challenge is Thailand’s travel pass, which is creating frustration for tourists. Travelers need to get a QR code to enter Thailand, but they’ll need to enter the following information first:

  • Passport
  • 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)

Unfortunately, tourists are reporting the system doesn’t work properly. The problems include not receiving a QR code, issues uploading a PDF form, and error messages. 

“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,” said The Bangkok Post. 

The Current Restrictions Within Thailand 

On top of the continued closure of entertainment venues and confusing health pass system, Thailand has various restrictions nationwide. 

For example, Thailand still has an emergency decree in place, and instructions suggest travelers must not:

  • Enter high-risk areas
  • Hoard essential goods
  • Attend public gatherings
  • Propagate false information
Girl Wears Mask In Bangkok

The government is fining people for not wearing masks in all indoor and outdoor places and enforcing social distancing measures nationwide. 

Although Thailand has made entering the country more straightforward, it’s still miles away from being the Thailand we all love to explore. The lack of tourists visiting in the coming months will reflect that.

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Thursday 18th of November 2021

While there have been some initial hiccups with the new pass system, I submitted my paperwork and had no issues getting my QR code in about four days. The problem is that the system was initially only set to accept image files, not pdf files. Took me a few minutes to see that (would not upload pdf files), but easily converted my pdfs to images and had no problems. It's actually very easy to follow. Book your flights. Book one night AQ hotel. Get travel insurance (very easy and cheap...$100k coverage cost me $25 for a few days). Submit that information with your passport and vaccine card. I'll be there for a few days between XMas and New Years. Really looking forward to the trip...don't care about going out and getting drunk at night, so bar closure is no big deal for me. It should make for some very interesting photos of the red-light district being totally shuttered.


Saturday 13th of November 2021

Insane decision.They make a big play about making it easier to visit Thailand,then slam the shutters down with delaying opening bars or allowing people to have a beer in restaurants. That's the high season & the projected numbers of visitors done for. How do the Thai people put up with this madness.


Saturday 13th of November 2021

Looking at the situation in Europe, this looks like a smart decision. Go Thailand!

Alois Amrein

Sunday 14th of November 2021

@Johnny, I am eager to go to Thailand again. I spent the last 15 winters before Covid-19 in Thailand and in neighouring countries. But until now i am reluctant to go again because the restrictions are too big. I will wait until the entry requirements are lesser then now.


Friday 12th of November 2021

just put 2023 as the real date in your mind to save further disappointment


Saturday 13th of November 2021

@Leonardo, Their mentality is still along the lines of: "you don't have to come, just send the money our way" ;-)


Saturday 13th of November 2021

@AYL, I visited Thailand three years in a row and I was willing to go in the end if this year. But I don't see myself returning any time soon.. I'm so frustrated with the unfair treatment they're giving to different countries. It's more like "you're rich, I don't care if your infection rate per 100k is triple than other middle incoming country"