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
Thursday 17th of March 2022
The government or shall I say the dictatorship of Thailand are a bunch of thieves. I bought a ticket to Bangkok which is required to do before starting the Health Pass application. Then I booked an SHA Extra Plus hotel package that included 1 day quarantine, a PCR Test, an ATK Test Kit along with airport transportation. I also bought insurance for 30 days. Completing the Health Pass application is very tedious and time consuming. About a week into the process my application was denied on the grounds that my hotel application had been denied. The hotel had approved me and charged my credit card. No further explanation was given why my application was denied and I was told to start over. I could not change my flight date therefore I am out 650 dollars for that plus 150 dollars for the hotel package and another 150 dollars for the insurance. There are too many moving parts in this process and too many things that can go wrong. These are some of the things that can go wrong when you're dealing with a corrupt greedy Dictatorship.
Some people have been allowed in only to receive a positive Covid test after receiving a negative one upon boarding the flight. They are placed in Hospital or Hospitel regardless if they are symtomatic or not. As I understand it some of these places (Hospitels are dumps). This seems like a scam to me. All I can say at this point is that until they normalize entry procedures into Thailand now is a very chancey time to try and enter.
Saturday 26th of February 2022
Thailand is Finished my Mrs is Thai and hasn't been back to see her family for 3 years due to the crazy prices of test and go government hotels etc she isn't unique most Thai people have delayed returning to Thailand due to the constant changes in entry requirements and the cost as it adds approx £400 to your trip!!!!. Its all a scam to make money Thailand is now close to a dictatorship and farang (westerners) have sold up and gone to other countries. My friends had bars, hotels and businesses in koh samui and koh phangnan and sold up and moved to Europe due to the crazy immigration laws. Sorry Thailand I love you but you have had your day in the limelight other countries have cheaper, easier travel options.
Friday 25th of February 2022
Love Thailand, but these entry requirements are a joke, Asian countries are still going along with the Covid scare tactics, will hurt them in the long run. Will be visiting Costa Rica and Mexico soon!
Friday 25th of February 2022
Not even close to making Thailand a viable holiday option, untill the threat of a symptomless hospital stay is gone from the plan, no one in their right mind will travel there.
Thursday 24th of February 2022
No real change at all , so where do you go for your second test ?.hospital/ hotel ?i have a home in Thailand,why leave my home to go into a busy city to test for covid ?...