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Thailand has been extremely cautious on reopening its borders for tourism as the global pandemic continues. 

Thailand is open for select tourists under strict protocols in order to prevent the importation of COVID-19 cases. Being a world leader in controlling the virus within its own borders, Thailand is reopening slowly and cautiously to ensure it stays that way. 

Here are all the latest updates on Thailand reopening for tourism and everything you need to know on how to visit one of the most popular countries in the world. 

Women in Phi phi thailand

Travelers Allowed To Visit Thailand

Tourist Visas

How To Apply For The Tourist Visa: TR Visa 

Thailand announced on November 1st, 2020 they will begin offering 60 day tourist visas and granting Certificates of Entry (COE) online.   To apply for the certificate of entry travelers must meet the following entry requirements.  

TR Visa Requirements

  • Approved Visa
  • Approved COE
  • Copy of recent bank statement ($700 per person and $1,500 per family). The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly), In case of submitting a family bank statement, proof of relationship (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate) must be provided.
  • 14 day ‘state quarantine' upon arrival 
  • All countries may apply
  • Medical insurance that covers COVID-19 with at least $100,000 USD in coverage for the entire duration of your stay.
  • Proof of alternative state quarantine reservation (ASQ)

How to Apply:

1. Travelers must apply for a visa at the Thai embassy/consulate in their home country

2. Travelers then can apply for the COE on the official Thai Government website. 

Thailand COVID-19 Entry Requirements Travelers Need To Know

Long Stay Tourists: STV Visa (Special Tourist Visa)

Thailand announced a 90-day visa for long-stay tourists on September 15th, 2020. The visa is called the ‘Special Tourist Visa' (STV). Once approved, then travelers can apply for the certificate of entry (COE).

Entry Requirements: 

  • Approved Visa
  • Approved COE
  • Proof of payment for 90 day accommodation booking
  • Copy of recent bank statement ($700 per person and $1,500 per family). The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly), In case of submitting a family bank statement, proof of relationship (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate) must be provided.
  • 14 day ‘state quarantine' upon arrival 
  • Only low risk countries may apply
  • Medical insurance that covers COVID-19 with at least $100,000 USD in coverage for the entire duration of your stay.
  • Proof of alternative state quarantine reservation (ASQ)

How to Apply:

1. Travelers must apply for a visa at the Thai embassy/consulate in their home country

2. Travelers then can apply for the COE on the official Thai Government website. 

Length of Stay and Renewals

The Special Tourist Visa will allow approved travelers to stay in Thailand for 90 days. It can be renewed twice, for 90 days each time.

Thailand Market in Bangkok

Other Travelers Permitted To Enter Thailand

All travelers in the below categories will face a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival in Thailand.

  • Medical Tourists: Travelers seeking medical and wellness services may enter Thailand upon receiving a ‘International Flight Permit' from the Thai Embassy/Consulate in their home country. A letter from a Thai doctor must be presented when applying. 
  • Non-Thai nationals who are a spouse, parents, or children of a Thai national
  • Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid certificate of residence, or permission to take up residence in the Kingdom
  • Foreign workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar for food and construction industries
  • Foreigners participating in trade fairs in Thailand
  • Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid work permit and their spouse or children
  • Foreign film crews coming for filming in Thailand
Thailand Temples and Prayers

Travelers that fall into the above categories must also follow Thailand's health protocols including:

  • Travel health insurance that also covers covid
  • All travelers arriving in Thailand must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR swab test taken within 72 hours prior to flight 
  • 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
Thailand Beach

Phuket Reopening For Tourism Plans

Phuket was originally scheduled to open for international tourism on October 1st, 2020 but the reopening has been delayed after Thailand confirmed its first case in 30 months of COVID-19 at the end of September. 

Phuket temple

The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn originally announced that Phuket reopening for international tourists would act as a pilot program for the rest of the country.

The purpose was to test if Thailand could successfully reopen without a resurgence in cases. Unfortunately due to a confirmed case within its own borders and a second wave of the virus happening worldwide, the Thai government delayed the decision. 

Temple tourist attraction in Thailand

Once Phuket does reopen for international tourists, it will have strict entry requirements and protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

While many travelers are excited about the prospect of Phuket reopening, the process of getting in will not be easy.

Thailand Reopening For Long-Stay Tourists: New 90 Visa

Entry Requirements For Phuket When Pilot Project Begins:

 A new date has not been set for the reopening of Phuket. 

Tourists will be required to stay a minimum of 30 days

14 day quarantine at hotel including common areas of the hotel’s property, and in some cases beach access.  

2 Negative PCR tests will be required to be released from quarantine

After 3 weeks in Phuket, travelers may take a third PCR test and if the result is still negative they may leave to explore other parts of Thailand.

phuket thailand tourism reopening

Last year, Thailand recorded the highest number of tourists entering the country, nearly smashing the 40 million mark. The government is hopeful the Phuket pilot project will safety allow them to restart claiming some of those foreign arrivals.

To date, Thailand has been one of the most successful countries in the world at containing the virus with strict lockdown measures.

However, Thailand’s economy is extremely dependant on tourism, and they’ve experienced a devastating 12.2% shrink in the 2nd quarter, the worst hit in the last 22 years.

phuket thailand hotel reopening

Thailand has confirmed 3759 cases of COVID-19 and 59 deaths since the pandemic began. 

It is unknown when Thailand will fully reopen their borders for general tourism.

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Originally Published May 29th, 2020

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



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