Thailand is set to ease some of its entry restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers from March. The once wildly popular travel destination has struggled to attract travelers back to its shores in the same numbers that it once did, with the country’s particularly tough Covid-19 entry restrictions viewed by many as the main reason why. By easing two of its key entry restrictions, we could be set to see a boom in the number of travelers heading to the Land of Smiles in the coming months.
Thailand’s restrictions have been constantly altered throughout the pandemic, reacting to both spikes and drops in cases, but today’s announcement will make it as easy to enter as it’s ever been since the pandemic started. Here’s a look at which restrictions are on their way out from March, plus what travelers have to do in order to be able to visit.
Thailand Eases Entry Restrictions – Information For Travelers
Earlier in the week, it was reported that Thailand’s tourism ministry would be seeking to ease entry restrictions for foreign travelers at their next meeting with the country’s Covid-19 committee. Thankfully for travelers, the tourism ministry has got their wish, as Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) revealed that they would be easing restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers from March 1st.
In an announcement today, the CCSA revealed that from March 1st travelers would no longer have to book and pay for a second PCR test on their fifth day after arriving into the country. Instead of the PCR test, they can perform a self-test using a rapid antigen test (also known as a lateral flow test). With their low cost and quick results, the move could save incoming travelers hundreds of dollars and plenty of time that would be better spent island hopping or wandering around markets.
Prospective Thailand travelers will also be delighted to know that the second PCR test wasn’t the only requirement to be changed by the CCSA. The task force also lowered the minimum medical insurance coverage for visitors to $20,000 from $50,000 – another move that’s bound to not only save travelers money, but make the idea of visiting Thailand much more appealing to those who are on the fence about traveling.
The moves are set to lift the struggling tourism industry in Thailand. Whilst recent weeks have been noticeably busier on the ground, with about 302,000 visitors arriving under the Test & Go programme since it was reopened for on February 1st, current arrival numbers are still some way off the 40 million travelers that flocked to the country’s shores in 2019 – but entering still isn’t just as easy as getting on a flight.
Travelers heading to Thailand will still need to ensure that they have their Thailand Pass before flying. This means they will have to submit documents such as proof of vaccination, proof of a Day 1 hotel and test booking and proof of medical insurance online in advance of their trip. Full details about entering the country via Test & Go can be found here.
Thailand’s decision to make it easier to enter also coincides with its neighbors lowering their entry requirements, signalling an exciting few months of travel ahead in Southeast Asia. It also comes just in time for the country’s famous Songkran celebrations in April – a nationwide water fight to celebrate the country’s new year – though it remains to be seen if such festivities will be allowed to take place.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com