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Thailand’s Tourism Ministry Proposes Relaxing Entry Requirements Further

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The tourism ministry of Thailand is set to propose that the country eases some of its entry restrictions in a meeting with the country’s Covid-19 committee this week. The Southeast Asian nation – home to the world’s most visited city, Bangkok, prior to the pandemic – has struggled to attract travelers to its shores in the same numbers that it used to, and hopes that changing its entry requirements will go some way towards remedying the situation. 

The country’s ailing tourism sector has been vocal this week in lending its support to such changes, particularly as neighboring traveler hotspots such as Vietnam and Philippines are easing their restrictions in the coming weeks too. Here’s a look at the changes that the tourism ministry is set to discuss.


Restrictions To Change? What Travelers Should Know

Thailand’s popular Test and Go method of entering the country made a return at the start of this month, having previously been scrapped due to fears that the Omicron variant would lead to high case numbers within the kingdom. However, when the scheme returned, it did so with a few extra rules that meant entering the country was not quite as straightforward as it was in its previous iteration – much to the annoyance of travelers around the world. 

The updated rules stated that travelers would not only have to test on their day of arrival into the country, but they would have to book themselves into a hotel to be tested for Covid-19 once more on their fifth day – unable to leave until a negative test result was returned. It’s this fifth day testing requirement that has earned a lot of criticism from not only travelers, but those in the tourism industry too – though it could soon be on its way out. 

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Friday that his ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will be proposing that this requirement is removed and replaced with an antigen test instead. Not only is this quicker and more convenient for travelers, but it’s also bound to save a lot of money too – with PCR tests in many facilities in Thailand costing upwards of $100.

The minister stated that he would make the proposal this week, on February 23rd, during a meeting with Thailand’s Covid-19 committee. He’s not the only person making the case for restrictions to ease, with a collection of tourism business operators in the country penning an open letter to Thailand’s Prime Minister, asking for Covid-19 to be declared an endemic and for all restrictions in the country to be lifted. 

“Thailand needs to further relax Covid-19 restrictions for tourists now, or else it may lose the ability to compete with other nations,” the letter said, before adding that the country was at risk of losing out an influx of travelers this April, a month that attracts large numbers of foreign travelers due to the Easter holidays and Thailand’s Songkran celebrations. 

For travelers keen on visiting Thailand, it could be an exciting week if the government follows the lead of its local neighbours and makes it easier to enter. Regardless of the meeting with the Covid-19 committee, travelers might not be able to visit Bangkok anymore either way – as the Thai government is in talks to officially change the name of its capital city to Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, which means “City of Angels”. 

Read More:
This Country Is Now The Easiest To Visit In Southeast Asia
Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2022
Vietnam Aims To Lift Most Travel Restrictions On March 15

This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com

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Travis

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

High season is almost over. No one is coming anymore anyways.

Patrick 83

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

I'm going crazy trying to organize the 2nd test on KOH Lanta... This is the 2nd postponement of a plane ticket that I have done. It cost me 500 euros. Thai Viet didn't even refund me for the first domestic flight I paid for. I can't wait tomorrow to see if the 2nd test is canceled but I'm exhausted from waking up at 5 am to be able to call the SHA extra+ hotels to ask them if they are organizing the Test. they tell me that I can register and pay directly, the Tahi Tourist Office in Paris tells me no, it's up to the hotel to organize ... What do I regret having wanted to go to Thailand!!!!

SMH

Monday 21st of February 2022

Just bring a RA Test on arrival and let it be done. None of this BS PCR test. Expensive & creates more corruption by the government and leaves innocent people stressed for no reason.

Koby

Monday 21st of February 2022

Stop the 5 day test , we wont came and risk our trip siting for long 10 day in a facilitis, its crazy no country do it, its not worth it. The 5 day test is disasster for tourist. We cancell becose of that and meny other like us.

Steve

Sunday 20th of February 2022

Stop the thai pass many people will come I have not seen my girl friend and baby for 2 years now you need to open every think same before just stop this now you have to many rules make it easy for every body please

Keithm

Monday 21st of February 2022

@Steve, don’t worry she’ll have been looked after by some ex pat