Thailand remains open to international tourists, but with certain health and safety measures and travel requirements in place. This relates to entry certificates, screening, quarantine and movement controls. Over the coming weeks and months, there will be a gradual lifting of these restrictions, as the Kingdom continues on its path to a full revival of the tourism sector. Officials in Thailand have just confirmed a roadmap for rolling back quarantine requirements and reopening tourism in stages nationwide, with some areas set to be quarantine-free as early as 1 July 2021, provided travellers have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Starting from 1 April 2021, Thailand’s mandatory quarantine period has been reduced from 14 to 10 days for travellers arriving from designated low-risk countries. Arrivals from other countries will still be required to undergo the quarantine period of 14 days. The list of nations is updated every 2 weeks by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand. During quarantine, travellers must take two RT-PCR tests: between day 3 and 5; and then between day 9 and 10. They can still enjoy their leisure time during this time, with various activities approved.
Quarantine: 5 Key Facts
1. New 7-day quarantine only available for travellers who have completed both doses of the approved* vaccines.
2. The current 14-day period remains in place for people arriving from countries where the Covid-19 virus has mutated.
3. When applying for a certificate of entry (CoE), travellers still have to book and pay for 11 nights. This is to ensure verification of travel plans, quarantine location and contact details upon arrival.
4. Officials from the Ministry of Public Health will inspect travellers’ health certificates upon arrival. This will determine whether quarantine is 7 or 10 days.
5. Certain tourism and leisure activities are allowed during quarantine, and in some destinations travel is permitted through official ‘sealed routes’.
The process of reopening Thailand and lifting travel restrictions will proceed in three phases, spread out over quarters two, three and four of this year. From April to June, foreign travellers with vaccine certificates will be able to visit designated areas in Thailand. They will be required to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival and then stay in their hotel for the first 7 days of the trip. They will still be able to visit certain areas and attractions during this time, via sealed routes.
The second phase, commonly referred to as the “Phuket Sandbox” will run from July to September, featuring the island of Phuket as a pilot project for the lifting of quarantine restrictions. The same entry requirements apply, but visitors will have more freedom to explore once they arrive. From October to December, quarantine restrictions will be lifted in all designated areas, including Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga, Samui, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai.
In order to prepare for the more widespread return of international travellers, Thailand is stepping up its vaccination programmes in key locations nationwide. The Kingdom began mass distribution of vaccines nationwide on 24 February, using a combination of Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizfer/BioNTech, Covishield and Moderna. The Ministry of Public Health has announced plans to increase its order of the AstraZeneca vaccine from 26 million to 61 million doses. The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has stated that tourism-dependent areas like Phuket and Pattaya will be top priority for the ongoing vaccination process. Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan, the assistant spokesperson for the CCSA, confirmed that hospitality and tourism workers are “high priority” for the first phase of the vaccination plan.
*Vaccines approved for Thai entry requirements:
– ARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (CoronaVac) by Sinovac (2 doses)
– AZD1222 by AstraZeneca/Oxford (2 doses)
– AZD1222 by SK BIOSCIENCE – AstraZeneca/Oxford (2 doses)
– BNT162b2/CORMIRNATY – Tozinameran (INN) by Pfizer/BioNTech (2 doses)
– Covishield (ChAdOx1_nCoV19) by the Serum Institute of India (2 doses)
– COV2.Sby the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (1 dose)
– mRNA-1273 by Moderna (2 doses)
All foreign tourists who have received the Certificate of Entry (COE) documentation are now required to download the ThailandPlus application prior to arrival, according to TAT. They can then use this when travelling around the country, as many businesses display QR codes that are required for check-in and check-out scanning. This includes all types of accommodation, restaurants, shopping centres and tourism attractions, and will ultimately help the government to track the movements of tourists in Thailand to ensure their continued health and safety. Travellers can download the app via the Apple App Store and Google Play or by visiting https://thailandplus.in.th/en/download/.
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:
1. Thailand Hygiene Plus Initiative (THPI)
2. World Travel & Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ campaign
3. “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: