Thailand was once considered one of the safest places to travel to during the pandemic due to their extremely low numbers of cases and deaths at the hands of Covid-19. However, the current situation in the country – despite Thailand continuing to have relatively low statistics compared to similarly-sized countries – has got the government worried, forcing them to take action.
As well as extending the period of time travelers must spend in quarantine, the Thai government has introduced a raft of other measures designed to stem the surge of the virus – read all about them here.
Quarantine Extended – Information For Travelers
The future of tourism in Thailand had been looking up over the past few months. Fueled by their low case levels and the vaccination rates abroad, Thailand considered the possibility of vaccinated travelers visiting the country without the need to quarantine at all. Whilst concrete versions of these plans were never finalized, the country went as far as to reduce their quarantine duration to 10 days, and 7 days for some vaccinated travelers. However, these changes are now set to be reversed.
Following the worsening of the situation in the country – a 7-day average of more than 2,200 daily cases and 10 deaths – the country has reintroduced its longer quarantine period for those coming into the country. Speaking in a televised announcement yesterday, a government spokesman revealed that the duration of mandatory quarantine would be extended to 14-days once more for all arrivals into the country – regardless of test results or vaccination status.
The extended quarantine duration will apply to all arrivals who hold Certificates of Entry (COE) that date later than May 1st, 2021. For those who received their COE prior to this date – and will arrive before May 6th – their quarantine will be either 10 or 7 days, depending on their vaccination status. The country has also suspended the issuance of COEs for non-Thai nationals who are traveling from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh until further notice, due to the Covid-19 situation in that region.
Other Covid-19 Regulations Travelers Should Be Aware Of
The extension of the duration of quarantine isn’t the only change the government has made to try and halt the spread of Covid-19. Mask wearing in public has now been made mandatory in each of Thailand’s provinces, with the failure to wear a mask punishable with a fine that can be as much as 20,000 baht.
The government has also revamped its color-coded Covid-19 maps, assigning each of the provinces with a different color that relates to the severity of restrictions in that province. There is a newly created dark red zone – the “maximum- and strict-control zone” – into which six provinces have been placed: Bangkok, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Chiang Mai, Samut Prakan and Pathum Thani. In this zone, inhabitants are requested to work from home for 14 days, whilst dining-in is banned, gyms are closed, convenience stores are open with limited hours and crowds are limited to 20 people.
In red areas, which account for 45 provinces, dining-in is still permitted, and gyms are allowed to open, but both must close at 9PM. In orange provinces, of which there are 46, restaurants may welcome patrons until 11PM, whilst gyms can open as normal. In all zones, bars and pubs are closed, as are schools, whilst restaurants are unable to serve alcohol.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com