Travelers with an eye on heading to Thailand were handed a boost today when it was revealed that the Southeast Asian country was planning to lower the duration of its mandatory quarantine for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Long since a favorite destination for travelers from all over the world, this latest development is bound to tempt travelers back to the country, with its strict quarantine rules previously proving to be a stumbling block for many.
The news also comes as the country begins to loosen some of its domestic restrictions, with the country seemingly over its worst period of the pandemic so far and doubling down on its efforts to entice both international and domestic travelers to visit its landmark destinations once more. Here’s what we know about the quarantine duration being shortened, plus a look at the current situation in the Land of Smiles.
Changes To Quarantine – Information For Travelers
Prior to the pandemic, Thailand welcomed travelers by the bucketful. Bangkok was crowned the most visited city in the world, islands were full of intrepid backpackers and its beaches hosted parties that seemed like they’d never end. However, the swift onset of the pandemic meant that the parties did stop and, ever since, the country has struggled to woo travelers back in the same numbers that it had once banked on as a sure thing.
The heavily tourist-dependent country has since launched several initiatives aimed at bringing more foreign travelers to its shores, but success has been mixed. A strict, mandatory quarantine period turned many prospective travelers off, whilst the more recent Phuket Sandbox – which allows vaccinated travelers to visit and explore the island without having to quarantine – could be counted as a success according to some metrics, but not others. However, cutting the length of quarantine could be just the push travelers need to book their vacations.
According to Thailand’s Covid-19 task force, the country is planning to reduce the length of time visitors to the country need to quarantine from October 1st. For vaccinated travelers, the period will be halved to 7 days, whilst for unvaccinated travelers it will be reduced from the current 14 day quarantine period to only 10 days. Thailand had previously reduced its quarantine duration, only for it to be extended once more in April, after the Covid-19 situation in the country took a turn for the worse.
From November 1st, the country is planning to go one step further and remove quarantine completely for Bangkok and nine other popular destinations. Perhaps the most attractive proposition to travelers yet, mandatory quarantine will be waived for vaccinated travelers who head to popular tourist hotspots such as Chiang Mai, Phang Nga, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Cha-Am, as the country tries to claw back some of the 40 million who visited back in 2019. Whilst such plans have not gone through the necessary processes to become official as of yet, they are encouraging signs both for the country and for travelers.
Also revealed today were a number of changes to current restrictions that were put into place to combat the spread of Covid-19. Thailand’s most-stricken “dark red” provinces, such as Bangkok, will see more businesses allowed to operate, such as spas, salons and cinemas, and the curfew time pushed back to 10PM.
Covid-19 cases in Thailand are currently on a downward trend. The seven day rolling average of positive cases is currently just over 12,00 a day, with 129 deaths. To date, almost 16 million people in the country are fully vaccinated, almost a quarter of the country’s population.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com