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Thailand To Ease Travel Restrictions As Government Plans Vaccine Passport

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Once of the world’s most popular destinations for travelers on any budget, 2021’s Thailand now resembles a shadow of its former self. Shops that once sold trinkets and souvenirs are shuttered, beaches are empty, and hotels once at maximum capacity are instead closed.

However, news coming from the Land of Smiles today brings hope for travelers who long to return to its shores. Thailand has announced that it will cut its mandatory quarantine time, whilst it was also revealed that the country supports the development of a vaccine passport. Here’s more about these big decisions.

Thailand To Cut Quarantine Time For Vaccinated And Backs Vaccine Passports

Thailand To Slash Quarantine Time – Information for Travelers

Access into Thailand has been possible for a while, following the creation of the Special Tourist Visa which allows travelers from any nation to enter the country for 90 days, with the option of extending it further upon arrival. Whilst this is the case, the need to quarantine upon arrival for two weeks has long since been a costly barrier to widespread tourism in the country.

bangkok mask

Those visiting Thailand must quarantine for 14 days, during which they will be tested several times, and stays in basic facilities for the duration have been found to cost upwards of $1000. However, it was today announced that the period of quarantine was to be cut from 14 days to 7 days for most vaccinated travelers.

railay beach yoga

Speaking this afternoon, Thailand’s Health Minister Anutin Charnvirankul announced the news in the hope that it would lead to an increase in the number of tourists heading to the country, which would go some way towards reviving the economy.

phi phi boats
phi phi boats

The change in quarantine time applies to foreign travelers who have been vaccinated in the past three months. They will still need to arrive with a negative Covid-19 test result. Travelers who have not been inoculated but arrive with a negative test result will see their quarantine period cut down to just 10 days. This change does not apply to travelers coming from Africa; due to concerns about virus strains, travelers coming from Africa must quarantine for the full two week period.

thai airways flight

Another change to quarantines now being planned is the ability for travelers to quarantine within the hotel rather than within the room which will allow tourists to enjoy facilities such as the pool. The first three days would have to be spent in the hotel room but once a guest tests negative after the first 72 hours, they will be able to use the entire hotel property including amenities.

Vaccine Passports Closer

As vaccine passports start to become acknowledged as a safe way to travel in Europe, Thailand too is getting in on the action. A panel of government officials has backed the idea, meaning that Thailand is taking a step closer to fully opening its borders for tourists.

Tourism made up a fifth of Thailand’s GDP prior to the pandemic, with the spread of Covid-19 forcing thousands of Thais out of work. President of the Thai Airlines Association Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth stated that “The quarantine waiver remains the best way to support the travel industry,” whilst it may also be the safest way to gradually allow travelers back into the country.

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How To Visit Thailand – What Travelers Should Know

Travelers who live in a country that has a visa exemption or visa on arrival arrangement with Thailand do not need to obtain a visa prior to travel, but must still obtain a certificate of entry. Those from nations without such an arrangement can apply for a Special Tourist Visa, which is open to travelers from all nations. Travelers need insurance that covers Covid-19 up to $100,000, and must also obtain a negative test result within three days of traveling. The existing quarantine period is 14 days, though the changes listed above will come into effect next month. Masks are widely worn both outdoors and indoors, and the wearing of one is mandatory to enter places such as conveniences stores and shopping malls.

Thailand Reduces Income Requirement For Tourist Visa

Read More:

Thailand Confirms Borders Now Open For Visa-Free Tourism

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19

Thailand To Allow Vaccinated Tourists With Less Restrictions

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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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Claudia

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

Honestly I don't even care about the quarantine. I've been almost quarantined for an entire year in my apartment at home, and at least this would be nicer and with meals I don't have to cook myself. Sounds like a nice relaxing two weeks, especially if I can go to the pool and walk the hotel after three days. No big deal.

My much bigger concern is that I could only stay for 45 days including the 14 days in quarantine. Normally I would leave Thailand and do a border run, but obviously that's not going to work if I have to quarantine every single time when I return. Unless they make it possible to stay for a few months longer, without doing a ton of paperwork, I'll wait until the quarantine is over.

James

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

@Claudia, we're on the same page. I used to love going back and forth from Thailand to other countries in SE Asia. However, now it's impossible, so yeah, they got to give people an option for longer stays .

Lucia

Monday 8th of March 2021

Thailand and all other countries requiring quarantine days even after being vaccinated are not inviting at all. Having to pay money to stay locked up in a hotel for even three days is not appealing at all. I truly hope Thailand reconsiders this restriction.

Randy

Monday 8th of March 2021

More travel entry requirements depending on how you may want to interpret from the land of the smile.

A plan for a vaccine passport is without much practicality. The usefulness of a vaccine passport is only as good as the evidence of how long the immunity may last. Until a vaccine successfully prevents transmission, there’s a limit to how useful any vaccine passport can be for public health. There are emerging variants that may cause some vaccines less protective.

A stamp in your passport would last longer than the antibodies in your blood. Just saying...

S.B.

Monday 8th of March 2021

I will not be visiting Thailand, that's for sure. I am vaccinated. Why would I want to spend a week in quarantine? What a ridiculous proposal, arrogant really of them. I received the Moderna vaccine, two doses. If that's not enough for Thailand, I am glad to give them zero dollars in return for their thoughtless and hysterical proposal: I am not ill, and I have no interest in being treated like I am.

AYL

Monday 8th of March 2021

madness. negative tests + quarantine even for vaccinated travelers. what's the point of the world on hold waiting for vaccinations then. and this coming from a heavily tourism-dependent country such as Thailand. i hope they get their stuff together and base their plans on science or see the economy suffer