Thai authorities have authorized the arrival of vaccinated tourists from 63 countries and territories considered low risk without the need for prolonged quarantine, a relief for the sector. The new rules became effective on November 1st and visitors will have to nonetheless be tested on arrival and remain isolated in the hotel for one night until they receive the result.
Any unvaccinated traveler or traveler with only one dose must undergo a 10-day quarantine in a hotel, which is reduced to 7 days for those vaccinated travelers who are not on the list of countries.
- A Certificate of Vaccination (fully vaccinated) with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before traveling.
- Those previously infected within 3 months must have received 1 dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before traveling.
- Travelers under 12 years of age, traveling with parents or guardians, are exempt from the vaccination requirement.
- A Medical Certificate with an RT-PCR lab result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before traveling (all travelers).
- A confirmed payment for a 1-night stay at SHA+, AQ, OQ, or AHQ accommodation, and 1 RT-PCR test.
- An insurance policy with coverage no less than US$50,000.
Applying for a Thailand Pass
- Register here
- Upload the required document (along with the valid visa/re-entry permit, if required), and allow 3-5 working days for the approval process. Wait for the approval of the Vaccine Certification and paid accommodation, including the RT-PCR test.
- Confirm the approval, and receive a Thailand Pass QR Code (or COE).
Arrival in Thailand
- Present the Thailand Pass QR Code (or COE) to the Health Control to carry out checks, then proceed through the Immigration procedures.
- Undergo the RT-PCR COVID-19 test at the reserved accommodation, or the pre-arranged test centre.(Children aged under 6 years have a saliva test.)
- Proceed to the hotel by the pre-arranged airport transfer. (Distance from the airport within 2 hours.)
- Download and install the MorChana application at the hotel.
Thailand continues to welcome fully vaccinated visitors from countries not on the list under relaxed requirements. Travelers are welcome to choose from the 17 ‘Blue Zone’ destinations, up from currently 4 ‘Sandbox’ destinations, for their first 7-night mandatory stay within the destination before being able to move on to other parts of Thailand.
The country had closed its borders tightly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus, a strategy that worked well for months but dealt a heavy blow to the huge tourism sector, one of its economic engines. The authorities announced in early October their intention to reopen their borders gradually to a specific list of countries, which as the days went by was expanded from ten to the 63.
Tourism accounts for about one-fifth of the Thai economy, and the impact of the pandemic affected other sectors as well, such as restaurants and transportation. The reopening of the country is also causing mixed feelings among Thai people. While some see it as a necessary step for economic recovery, others believe it is still too early due to the low vaccination rate and are wary of possible government improvisation.
Authorities expect 10 to 15 million visitors to return next year, bringing in an expected revenue of more than $30 billion. Industry specialists are less optimistic, however, especially because China, Thailand’s main source of tourists, still requires a strict quarantine for those returning from Thailand.
Thailand records about 10,000 Covid-19 infections per day, and only 40% of its population has received two doses of the vaccine. The country has accumulated more than 1.8 million cases, including 19,070 deaths, since the pandemic began. Prior to the pandemic, Thailand received nearly 40 million visitors annually who came in search of its beaches, street food and nightlife.