The government of Thailand has officially approved a proposal to reopen the country to all foreign tourists in a phased approach starting today.
Tourism represents around 13% of Thailand’s total economy, so it’s no surprise that the government is doing all that it can to kickstart tourism.
Thailand has been providing constant public updates about its tourism plan, something the World Travel and Tourism Council has urged governments around the world to do in order to restart the global tourism industry.
Thailand’s Plan to Restart Tourism
Reduced Quarantine Starting April 1st, 2021
Effective on April 1st, 2021, the quarantine for visitors will be cut from 14 days to 10 days for all arrivals, except for visitors from some African countries.
Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, and Phang Na will reopen to fully vaccinated tourists as early as next month. However, tourists who visit will still have to undergo a reduced 7-day quarantine (rather than the 10 days).
According to a post from the Thai government’s public relations department, the 7-day quarantine applies to travelers visiting from a county with no mutated strains. Travelers must hold a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate and present it upon arrival.
The Thai embassy in Washington, DC said that starting April 1 quarantine will be reduced to 10 days.
Vaccinated Tourists Allowed in Phuket July 1st Without Quarantine
As of July 1, 2021, vaccinated tourists will be able to travel to Phuket with no quarantine.
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and one of its most popular travel destinations. Given this, it has been given priority with regards to Thailand’s vaccine rollout. The province is expected to receive around 930,000 doses before reopening, vaccinating around 70% of the population.
The Thai government faces a race against time as it aims to achieve herd immunity in Phuket’s local population ahead of the return of foreign tourists.
On Tuesday, the Phuket Governor said he hopes that as many as 50,000 people will receive the first dose of the vaccine within seven days of it arriving on the island in April.
More Restrictions Could Be Lifted in October 2021
If the tourism scheme in Phuket proves successful, the quarantine requirement will be removed for vaccinated tourists in other populated destinations, including Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Phang Na, and Phuket, on October 1, 2021.
Koh Samui is also working on reaching herd immunity to launch the “Wonder Island” travel scheme in July, similar to Phuket’s model.
Thailand Will Reopen to All Tourists Without Quarantine in 2022
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisr said that Thailand plans to lift all quarantine requirements for foreign tourists in 2022.
“Additionally, in the year of 2022, if everything goes according to the plan, every vaccinated tourist who wanted to come to Thailand will not have to be quarantined anymore,” Anucha concluded.”
Tourists in Thailand Can Apply for Visa Extension
The Royal Thai Immigration Bureau has also announced new visa extensions for travelers already in Thailand. Tourists who have been stuck in Thailand since 2020 due to the pandemic can apply for another 60-day extension, allowing a stay until July 27, 2021.
How To Visit Thailand Now
Whilst vaccinated tourists may be able to visit popular Thailand destinations more easily in the next coming months; it’s still possible to visit now with a quarantine.
The country currently has visa exemption status with many countries, whilst those that aren’t covered by the scheme can apply for the Special Tourist Visa (STV), which grants up to 90 days in the country.
For a comprehensive read on how to enter Thailand, please read here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com