Thailand’s government has revealed its plans to completely drop the Thailand Pass needed for entry, paving the way for the country’s easiest entry requirements since the start of the pandemic. The popular Southeast Asian country, whose capital city Bangkok was once crowned the world’s most visited city back in 2019, has struggled to welcome tourists in large numbers since introducing strict entry requirements as Covid-19 spread, but that could all be set to change with the removal of the pass.
The removal of the Thailand Pass is just one of several measures that Thailand will be adopting next month as it repeals several Covid-related rules, such as the mask mandate and strict regulation of its nightlife industry. Here’s a look at what is set to change in the country, and how travelers can enter the country from next month.
Thailand Pass Removed – Information For Travelers
Ever since the Thailand Pass was launched last year, it has undergone several different facelifts and rule changes as the country reacted to the changing situation regarding the pandemic. From large insurance requirements and proof of vaccination, to booking stays in quarantine hotels and post-arrival testing, Thailand hasn’t made it easier for travelers to be able to enter the Land Of Smiles – until now.
Following a government meeting, it was revealed yesterday that Thailand would be removing its Thailand Pass requirements for all foreign travelers from July 1st. That means that travelers will no longer have to apply for a Thailand Pass in order to enter, nor will they need to purchase an insurance policy that covers Covid-19 prior to flying to the country. Thailand will also be removing its thermal scanning facilities at its borders.
There are still some Covid-19 related restrictions that are set to remain. Travelers will still need to have either proof of vaccination against the virus or a negative test result to enter the country, as arrivals will be randomly checked for these documents. Tests can be either a RT-PCR or professional ATK test taken within 72 hours of travel. Unvaccinated travelers who are randomly checked and cannot produce a negative test result will need to undergo a professional ATK test at the point of entry.
The Thailand Pass – with its bug-filled website and out of date entry requirements – has longer since been viewed with travelers as a significant barrier to travel, with many choosing to visit other, requirement-free destinations instead. Now that it is set to be removed, travelers are expected to travel to the country in their droves, bringing respite to the country’s ailing tourism industry.
Travelers will also be glad to know that the removal of the pass isn’t the only significant policy change starting on July 1st. Also from this date, the country will be partially repealing its mask mandate, making the wearing of masks when outdoors or in uncrowded places voluntary. Masks will still be required in situations such as public transport, markets and at concert venues, but travelers can look forward to mask-free strolls on the beach. More provinces are also set to become “green zones”, allowing more business types such as bars to open for longer.
Each of these changes are subject to their publication in the Royal Gazette, a process in the Thai legal system that is needed before changes become law, but their ascension into law is expected to be granted. It’s been a month full of change in Thailand, with the country also recently legalizing the use of cannabis – making it the first country in Asia to do so.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com