Thailand Edges Closer To Reopening Quarantine-Free Travel
Thailand’s Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, will propose reinstating the Test & Go system to speed up the economic recovery and win back overseas visitors.
The minister said on Monday he will ask the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to remove restrictions stepped up last year in response to the Omicron variant.
After a discussion with the Department of Disease Control, Anutin Charnvirakul has approved the restart of quarantine-free travel based upon Omicron’s milder symptoms, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer deaths.
He believes the Thai government can control Omicron and resume the travel economy with a COVID-safe setting.
Thailand extended the ban on the Test & Go system earlier in the month. The nation started the Test & Go system in late-2021, allowing travelers to skip quarantine after meeting specific testing requirements and vaccination requirements. The emergence of Omicron halted the Test & Go system.
Thailand plans to treat COVID-19 as endemic in 2022 because of the nation’s reliance on its tourism economy. In 2019, Thailand attracted just under 40 million visitors, making it one of the world’s most popular destinations.
Thailand’s Current Entry Requirements
You can still apply to enter Thailand under the Krabi, Phang-Na, Surat Thani, and Phuket Sandbox Schemes or the Alternative Quarantine Scheme if you’re fully vaccinated.
- If you’ve already received your Thailand Pass QR code, you can still enter Thailand under the scheme you registered for.
- If you registered to enter Thailand before December 22nd—but haven’t received your QR code—you must wait for Thai authorities to process your application. Once the Thai authorities approve your application, you can enter Thailand under the scheme you registered for.
If you are looking to enter Thailand via the Sandbox schemes or Alternative Quarantine schemes, you must take a PCR test before you arrive in Thailand and once you’ve arrived in Thailand. However, policies vary significantly on what happens if travelers test positive on arrival in Thailand.
Travelers must stay at least the first 7 nights within Sandbox destinations. If travelers need to leave their accommodation before the 7-night-period, they must leave the country.
To use the Sandbox Schemes, travelers may also require:
- A vaccination certificate
- A pre-arrival negative RT-PCR test result
- Prepaid 7-nights accommodation in an approved hotel
- Prepaid RT-PCR tests for when in Thailand
- An insurance policy with coverage of no less than $50,000
But What’s The Current COVID-19 SItuation In Thailand?
The current 7-day case average in Thailand is 4,448. That’s a significant decrease from 7,005 cases last week. Although Thailand witnessed a sharp rise in cases during the holidays because of Omicron, cases have already dropped nationwide.
Restrictions differ depending on where you are in the country. There’s a color rating for each of Thailand’s 76 provinces. Depending on the color rating, restrictions will vary.
Domestic travel options within Thailand are available but can change because of disease control measures. If you’re taking a domestic flight in Thailand, the authorities may ask you to download an app or additional travel documentation.
Local authorities will require you to wear a face mask in all public places. This includes planes, trains, taxis, and buses. Additionally, local authorities often give fines to individuals who don’t follow the mask-wearing rules. In some provinces, public transport may have less capacity than normal and may stop earlier.
Thailand’s emergency decree says you must not:
- Enter high-risk areas
- Hoard essential goods
- Attend public gatherings
- Propagate false information
Some provinces have restrictions on dining, public gatherings, restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. Bangkok, Thailand’s legendary capital city, currently has restrictions on nightlife.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com