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Covid-19 Situation Report: Thailand
10 January 2022 | Written by Chris Alexander

Cases of Covid-19 are in decline and the number of recoveries is climbing. Since the pandemic started, there have been 2,232,485 Covid-19 cases in Thailand, with 2,177,633 complete recoveries so far. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has forecasted around 8–15 million international tourist arrivals this year. 

The process of welcoming back tourists on a large scale began in Thailand began on 1 November 2021, with an open-border policy. This allowed vaccinated travellers from 63 countries and territories worldwide to enter Thailand without the need for quarantine (preceded by the Phuket Sandbox programme, which started on 1 July). 

However, recent concerns about the Omicron variant have resulted in the temporary suspension of quarantine-free entry, with the exception of the Phuket Sandbox. The latest news just in (on 7 January) is that from 11 January 2022, fully vaccinated international travellers will be able to enter Thailand under the Sandbox programme at either Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Samui), in addition to Phuket. 

Everyone 18 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to travelling to Thailand. Travellers 12-17 years of age travelling unaccompanied must get vaccinated with at least 1 dose of an approved vaccine. Those travelling with parents are exempt from this requirement. 

Those entering Thailand via the Sandbox scheme must complete the TM6 Immigration Form while on the plane. Then, upon arrival in the airport terminal, must also complete and sign the Quarantine Form before proceeding to the Health Control screening point. All those travelling from eligible countries must have the following documents in order to enter Thailand: 

– A Thailand Pass, which can be applied for here  
– A Medical Certificate with an RT-PCR lab result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected, issued no more than 72 hours before travelling. 
– Travellers under 6 years of age travelling with parents with a negative RT-PCR test can have a saliva test when entering Thailand. 
– An insurance policy with coverage no less than US$50,000. 
– A confirmed payment for at least a 7-day stay at approved SHA++ accommodation  
– Proof of a confirmed payment for 2 RT-PCR tests 
– A Certificate of COVID-19 vaccination/recovery 

Provided that all documents are in order, the officers will then affix the Quarantine Form with the official seal of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control. Travellers will receive a QR code indicating the requirement to undergo the 2 mandatory RT-PCR tests, and can then proceed to Immigration. Provided that all is in order, they will then be allowed to proceed to the reserved hotel. 

Upon arrival at the hotel, travellers must present their copy of the affixed Quarantine Form to the hotel staff to carry out the checks on the type of entry scheme permitted to the travellers. The travellers’ information will then be registered on the COSTE system. Afterwards, travellers must undergo the first RT-PCR test (except for those who have already taken the test at government-designated hospitals/lab centres prior to their arrival at the hotel). 

If receiving a negative RT-PCR test result, travellers can enjoy travel activities within a Sandbox destination throughout the first 7 days, but must return to their prearranged accommodation on a nightly basis. They are not allowed to stay overnight in any other places. 

If testing positive for COVID-19, travellers will be referred to a healthcare facility for appropriate medical treatment, for which the expenses must be covered by the required insurance, or national healthcare coverage for Thais and eligible foreign expatriates. 

On Day 5-6, travellers must go to their appointment at the government-designated hospitals/lab centres to undergo their second RT-PCR test (must be prepaid by the travellers prior to applying for the Thailand Pass). Travellers should give their copy of affixed Quarantine Form/prepaid RT-PCR testing number to the hospitals/lab centres for reference. 

On 1 November, Thailand began welcoming vaccinated travellers from 46 countries, without the need for quarantine. Last year, the Kingdom announced a four-month, four-tiered roadmap for the reopening of tourism infrastructure nationwide. Running from October 2021 to January 2022, the plan involves opening new destinations every month, while also steadily lifting restrictions for returning travellers.  

The Pilot Phase ran throughout October, focusing on island/beach destinations, some of which had already opened earlier this summer. This includes Phuket, Krabi, Ko Samui and Ko Pha-ngan. Mandatory quarantine time was reduced to seven days for vaccinated travellers and 10 days for the non-vaccinated. Covid-19 tests are still required upon arrival.   

The First Phase began on 1 November and involved reopening 10 new locations, including all areas of Bangkok, Krabi and Phang-Nga, and various designated areas in Chiang Mai, among other destinations. The Second Phase began from 1 December, involving the reopening of 20 more provinces to foreign travellers. Then, in the Third Phase, which started on 1 January 2022, a total of 13 border provinces welcomed back foreign arrivals.   

Thailand is making solid progress with its mass vaccination programme. To date, 103 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Thailand, spanning 76 provinces nationwide. An estimated 45.4 million people (65.1% of the population) have now been fully vaccinated, while many more are taking additional booster shots. 

Panorama Destination is working to ensure the safety of our clients returning to Thailand, and has introduced a set of health and safety protocols based on a dedicated Covid-19 policy. The business has also achieved safety certification from a range of internationally recognised organizations, including the following: 

Thailand Hygiene Plus Initiative (THPI)
World Travel & Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ campaign
“Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration” certification (SHA) by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)

We continue to work alongside the Government and with other DMCs in Thailand, to ensure safe and standardised services for all returning visitors; and will continue to provide the latest breaking news regarding Covid-19 and its impact on tourism via our social media channels: 

Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

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