On June 25, 2020, the Government of Thailand approved a draft plan for relaxed measures for foreigners entering Thailand, which could see the reopening of international tourism as of August 1, 2020.
The draft is to be submitted to the CCSA, which is chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha for approval on June 29.
Thailand's draft plan includes three phases of reopening:
- Phase One: Business travelers, investors, skilled workers, people with Thai family members, teachers, etc.
- Phase Two: Medical tourism travelers
- Phase Three: General tourists
The timelines for the phases are still in a proposal state, but are drafted as follows:
- Phase 1: starting July 1
- Phase 2: starting July 1
- Phase 3: Starting August 1
The proposed reopening plan also includes details on how the Thai government will control the virus.
Included in the reopening plan are health and entry requirement protocols like:
- Travelers arriving with travel health insurance that also covers covid
- A pre-screening health declaration card filled out before departure
- The wearing of masks mandatory on in-bound flights and in the airport
- Thermal scans and temperature checks upon arrival
The proposed plan does not yet clarify if mandatory testing will be done.
AOT's six airports have now resumed their operation. Here are the “new normal” measures for passengers. For more information on conditions during the COVID-19 situation, please contact the AOT Contact Center at 1722. Source: https://t.co/TDmj2Bpqba pic.twitter.com/U8PxaNzVC3— PR Thai Government (@prdthailand) June 27, 2020
Thailand's Airports Reopening
Six of Thailand's international airports are reopening on July 1st, handling both domestic and international arrivals. (Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Chiang Rai, and Suvarnabhumi)
The Thai government has published an infographic (shown above) to inform passengers on the new health protocols happening at the airports.
Medical Tourism Thailand
In the proposed plan, Medical Tourism is set to resume a full 30-days before general tourism, starting July 1.
The Ministry of Public Health states Thailand receives over 2.5 million medical tourists per year, making it a very large group to consider giving early access.
Update June 30th:
Thailand is now issuing an International Flight Permit, effective July 1, which gives certain tourists and non-nationals the ability to have first access to the country.
Original article first published June 18, 2020 now continued below…
One thousand foreign travelers will be allowed entry to Thailand per day without the need for a 14 day quarantine, according to an implementation plan for “travel bubbles” to be submitted for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)'s approval on Wednesday.
These visitors, who in the beginning will be mostly business travelers and patients seeking medical treatment in Thailand, must come as part of bilateral cooperation on tourism between Thailand and selected countries which have managed to contain Covid-19 Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy government spokeswoman, said on Sunday.
General foreign tourists will later be allowed to visit Thailand if the tourism promotion programme proves successful in terms of the transmission control, she said.
The Thailand Tourism Authority has said that tourists will have to wait a few more months before visiting.
The Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said that tourism could return in the fourth quarter of this year.
Here is everything you need to know about Thailand reopening to tourists and what to expect when one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world opens their border.
Even then, there will likely be restrictions on who can visit and where they can go said Yuthasak.
“We are not going to open all at once,” he adds. “We are still on high alert, we just can't let our guards down yet. We have to look at the country of origin [of the travelers] to see if their situation has truly improved. And lastly, we have to see whether our own business operators are ready to receive tourists under the ‘new normal'.”
Similar versions of this strategy are already being looked at in the region — referred to as “tourism bubbles.” Basically, a country will open borders reciprocally with destinations that also have their coronavirus situation under control.
When this story was published, the country had recorded 3,042 Covid-19 cases and 57 deaths. It's reporting only a handful of new Covid-19 cases each day — occasionally even zero. Instances of local transmissions are low, with most recent Covid-19 infections discovered in quarantined returnees.
Thailand is now focused on reopening to domestic tourism in June, says Yuthasak. Resorts and hotels in some tourism destinations throughout the country have already been given the green light to reopen, including in Hua Hin, a popular beach resort about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Bangkok.
“The recent 24-hour notice by CAAT of a sustained closure was a hard pill to swallow for a damaged industry. There is no point to open hotels, while the airport is the trigger for reopening. The vague notice and lack of a clarity on when the airport [will reopen] makes it impossible for businesses to plan forward actions.”
“Staycations and road trips are being touted but in a country where tourism represents 12 to 14 percent of the GDP, these small bites are not going to bridge the road to recovery,” he says. “Broader ASEAN bilateral agreements and getting airports open and airlines back in the air is what's needed.”
Before the Lunar New Year holiday in January, Tassanee owned four clothing shops at the market. She has since closed two and is now considering shuttering a third and shifting her focus to online orders.