COVID-19: Thailand Travel Updates

Lady wearing a face mask in a Thai market.

Updated 18th January 2022.


LATEST NEWS:

  • 18th January 2022 – Thailand propose the reopening of the Test & Go scheme by February. Source.
  • 13th January 2022 – Thailand has announced it will introduce a 300THB tourist tax from April 2022. Source.
  • 7th January 2022 – Test & Go suspended indefinitely. As of January 11th 2022, Samui Plus, Phang Nga, and Krabi sandbox schemes resume. On this same date, the ban on travellers from eight African countries will also be lifted. Source.
  • 21st December 2021 – Thailand halts the Test and Go scheme due to fears of Omicron. Travellers can still enter the country through the normal quarantine process or Phuket Sandbox scheme. Source.

Disclaimer: COVID-19 travel restrictions are changing every day and the following information reflects South East Asia’s Backpacker’s understanding of the current rules for entry. While we update this article regularly to ensure the information is as current as it can be, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.


Thailand Travel Restrictions

Can you travel to Thailand right now?

Vaccinated Travellers:

Fully vaccinated tourists are eligible to travel to Thailand on one of the Blue Zone sandbox schemes or via the alternative quarantine scheme.

The Test and Go scheme has been suspended indefinitely, however, previous applicants who have already received their Thailand Pass QR code can still enter.

At this time, Thailand recognises the following COVID-19 vaccines:

Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Janssen.

Unvaccinated Travellers:

All travellers are eligible for the alternative quarantine scheme.

Sandbox Schemes

At present, Thailand is running a number of sandbox schemes. These programmes allow fully vaccinated visitors to enter the country without needing to complete an official quarantine. They come with additional requirements including the requirement to spend the first 7 nights of your trip in a designated area at a SHA+ hotel. The sandbox schemes currently open as a part of the Blue Zone destinations are the Phuket Sandbox, Samui Plus, Krabi and Phang-Nga.


Entry Requirements

Before you enter Thailand, you will need:

Required Entry Documents

  1. Apply for a Thailand Pass via the official Thailand Government website.
  2. Have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of flying (regardless of vaccination status).
  3. Have proof of payment of Alternative State Quarantine Facility or ‘SHA+’ package (if you are entering via a sandbox scheme).
  4. Have proof of accommodation after your quarantine.
  5. Have proof of at least 500,000 THB ($16,000 US) in your bank account.
  6. Hold a valid passport with at least 12 months validity and two blank pages.
  7. Have proof of onward travel out of Thailand within the expiry date of your visa.

You may be required to download the Thai Chana app (track and trace app) upon arrival in Thailand. Available from 17th May.

Current Thailand Visas available

You can currently enter Thailand on the following visas (available before the pandemic):

  1. TR60 – This is the 60-day Tourist Visa that was available pre-pandemic. The maximum stay on this visa is 60 days. However, it can be extended for a further 30 days at a Thai Immigration Office.
  2. Por30 – Visa Exempt Entry – This is the normal 30-day visa-free entry pass that was commonly used before the pandemic. Whereas in the past, this visa allowed travellers to stay in the Kingdom for 30 days, the maximum stay is now 45 days. This can also be extended at a Thai Immigration Office for a further 30 days.

Read more about Thailand’s reopening plan here and keep up to date with Thailand’s reopening plans on the TAT News website here.

Insurance

  • Non-resident foriegners will need travel insurance that covers COVID-19. It needs to cover potential hospitilisation, treatment and costs of quarantine if medically required. The insurance policy must have coverage no less than US$50,000.

Our Recommended Travel Insurance During the COVID-19 Pandemic – SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance is one of the few travel insurance offering full COVID-19 sickness cover as part of their International Medical Cover.

COVID-19 Tests Required 

  1. Negative COVID-19 test result needed within 72 hours of flying. 
  2. All visitors arriving in Thailand must undertake a COVID-19 test.
  3. During quarantine, you will be required to take a further two COVID-19 tests.*

*If you test positive for COVID-19 at any time once you arrive in Thailand you will be transferred to hospital and must stay in isolation for 14 days. You will have to provide two negative COVID-19 tests (five days apart) before you can be released from the hospital.


Quarantine Period

The quarantine period that you are required to serve depends on your vaccination status, where you are from and how you are entering the country. Quarantine requirements (if applicable) are as follows:

  • Fully vaccinated from one of approved countries: Previously the Test and Go package allowed travellers to enter without proper quarantine (aside from one night in a hotel). Due to Omicron fears, this program has been halted. Only approved Sandbox schemes and Alternative Quarantine schemes are still available for entering Thailand. Note: If you’ve already been accepted for the Thailand Test and Go scheme, you can still enter the country until 10th January without additional quarantine.
  • Fully vaccinated not from one of approved countries: 7 days with proof of full vaccination. Need to take two R-PCR tests on day 0-1 and 6-7.
  • Not vaccinated (entered by air): 10 days. Need to take two RT-PCR tests on days 0-1 and days 8-9.
  • Not vaccinated (entered by land): 14 days. Need to take two RT-PCR tests on days 0-1 and days 12-13.

If you are travelling via the Phuket Sandbox or Samui Plus, you do not have to quarantine, however you must book a stay in an SHA+ hotel.

Phuket Specific Quarantine – For anyone travelling domestically within Thailand, there is a 14-day quarantine for anyone travelling to Phuket. You do not have to quarantine if you have been fully vaccinated or have a COVID-free certificate.

Rules for entering Phuket
Rules for entering Phuket for both Thai and foreign visitors.

Local COVID-19 Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations below are only meant to serve as a guide and the situation is prone to change rapidly without warning. For more information on local rules and restrictions visit the Thailand Authority of Tourism Newsroom.

  • FACE COVERINGS – From 26th April 2021, face coverings must be worn in all indoor and outdoor public places across Thailand. Fines will be issued for those disobeying this rule.Also see: Best face masks for travel. 
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING – Social distancing is in place across the country.
  • CURFEWS – Curfews could be introduced at short notice.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT – Masks are mandatory on public transport. Services may be running on different schedules with reduced capacity in some areas.
  • VENUES AND GATHERINGS – Many tourist attractions are closed and local tours are not running due to low numbers of tourists and COVID-19 restrictions. Hotels and guesthouses are still open in Thailand, though many have been forced to close due to lack of tourists. We advise you to contact hotels directly when booking to check their regulations and any local restrictions that are in place. You must wear a mask at all times whilst in public places in the hotel and many hotels check temperature upon arrival.
  • MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE – Local restrictions in public places across provinces in Thailand vary.

Land Borders 

It is not permitted to cross land borders into neighbouring countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar.


On the Ground Traveller Reports: 

” [I’m in] Khao Sok, Thailand. Fairly quiet but lots open and all tours seem to be operating. No restrictions other than showing covid vaccine certificate on entry to national parks and masks are theoretically required everywhere. Virtually all Thai people comply with this inside and outside when close to other people, most foreigners seem to comply when in public transport but we have seen some that seem to think the law doesn’t apply to them. Very much the minority though to be fair.” Huw, 9th January 2022.

” [I’m] In Khao Sok. Quiet but enough travellers and holidaymakers to exchange stories and tips with and enough open to give choice of what to do and where to eat. Trips and transport are all running. All in all pretty good and bonus of fewer people in parks is good for us – if not for the guides. On to Samui next!” Sarah, 9th January 2022.


Resources

Dave Noakes Bio Pic, with Nikki Scott
Nikki Scott | Founder & Editor

Nikki is the founding editor of South East Asia Backpacker. At age 23, she left the UK on a solo backpacking trip and never returned. After six months on the road, she founded a print magazine about backpacking in Asia. The rest is history.

Find me: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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