Travelers from 63 countries, including the United States, can now enter Thailand without facing a lengthy hotel quarantine.
Now, vaccinated travelers coming from low-risk countries will only need to spend one night in isolation while waiting for their test results.
This post will look at the new entry requirements for Thailand and how it’s impacting the economy.
What Are The Entry Requirements For Thailand?
As of today, vaccinated travelers who have stayed a minimum of 21 days in one of 63 approved “low risk” countries and territories– including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada – will only have to face one night in quarantine.
Travelers will have a Covid-19 test administrated upon arrival and then stay one night in a government-approved hotel while they await the results. If negative, visitors are free to travel around the country.
Vaccinated travelers arriving from countries not on the eligible list can still enter through the sandbox scheme.
This requires them to stay in a government-approved hotel or resort in one of 17 destinations, including Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, for seven nights before they can travel throughout Thailand.
Unvaccinated tourists must quarantine in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for ten days upon arrival.
The new rules are a much-needed boost for the country’s battered tourism industry, with arrivals down over 80%.
Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association, said the easing of entry restrictions is an important milestone in the recovery process.
“Finally, hoteliers see the light at the end of the tunnel and are eager and excited for the opening,”
“Timing also coincides with the return of domestic travel recovery. Our government now has a plan and we can start our marketing strategies to win back guests. More importantly, there is now hope, not just for owners and operators, but for the employees as well.”
The Thai government predicts revenues to rebound to their pre-pandemic levels by 2023, with tourist numbers forecast to jump as high as 15 million next year.
According to Marissa, travelers entering Thailand will initially be from the US, Europe, and Scandinavia, as outbound travel from China is still heavily discouraged.
“There is definitely pent-up demand after such a long-term inability to travel.”
List of the 63 Countries
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
- South Korea
November 1st is normally the start of Thailand’s high season, and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the move was needed to allow Thailand to take advantage of travelers hoping to visit this season.
“We must act quickly but still cautiously and not miss the opportunity to entice some of the year-end and New Year holiday season travelers … to support the many millions of people who earn a living from our tourism,” he said.
Covid-19 In Thailand
Following a lengthy lockdown period, cases are dropping to nearly 9,000 new Covid-19 cases per day on average.
Thailand began vaccinating its population in June, and 42% of the population is fully inoculated according to CNN.
Thailand Could Be A Model For Other Asian Countries
“[Thailand’s reopening] is an important step as it is one of many case studies for learnings for all destinations within the Southeast Asia region, particularly since the region is a highly interdependent ecosystem,” says Liz Ortiguera, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
“Recovery will be uneven across the region particularly since the situation is constantly evolving, and factors such as new variants, vaccine equity and rollout, and border policies will play an important part in the recovery of travel over the next 12-14 months.”
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories