Thai authorities are introducing two new entry programmes for foreign vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists to replace the old ones as of 1 May. In fact, vaccinated tourists will now enter almost as if they were pre-quarantine, while unvaccinated tourists simply have to undergo a test before departure (such as in Turkey).
THAILAND CANCELS THREE OLD ENTRY PROGRAMMES AND INTRODUCES TWO NEW ONES
As planned, Thailand will implement new and much simplified rules for foreigners entering the country on 1 May.
According to the decisions at the government meeting on March 22, two new entry schemes will be introduced for vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists. At the same time, the earlier schemes – Test & Go, Sandbox and Alternative Quarantine – will be cancelled.
This was reported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), citing Thailand’s COVID-19 situation management centre (CCSA), recalling that for tourists arriving in Thailand before May 1, the current entry rules apply.
WHAT CHANGES FROM MAY 1 FOR VACCINATED TOURISTS
From May 1, the Test & Go and Sandbox entry programmes under which they came to the kingdom will be cancelled for vaccinated tourists.
That is, they will not have to book hotels in advance, pay for transfers to them, or do tests on the 5th day of their stay.
It remains to wait for the final publication in the Royal Gazette, after which it will be clear under what conditions vaccinated people will be allowed in
THAILAND CANCELS PCP TESTS ON ARRIVAL FOR EVERYONE
An important relaxation on tests – PCR tests on arrival are abolished altogether and for all (both vaccinated and unvaccinated). Even the antigen test does not have to be taken instead. As a reminder, pre-departure tests are no longer necessary either.
The PCR test remains recommended only for travelers with symptoms of the disease – this is done on the fifth day of stay in Thailand.
THAILAND PASS REMAINS, BUT BECOMES EASIER TO ARRANGE
The Thailand Pass is still required for everyone – both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
But now it will be a lot easier. From May 1 you will need the reduced insurance for the sum of 10000 USD and the certificate of vaccination.
As Thailand Pass is being adjusted, its website will be temporarily shut down for updates. Once the system is up and running again, it will be possible to apply for entry permits under the new, more lenient rules.
HOW ENTRY RULES FOR UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS WILL CHANGE
Foreign travellers who have not been fully vaccinated or have received only one dose of two will also be exempt from the mandatory PCR test on arrival.
It is also possible not to have a PCR test prior to entry: but then go to a 5-day quarantine period upon arrival in Thailand and take the PCR test on the fifth day before leaving the quarantine.
But unvaccinated tourists do not have to undergo quarantine: if they do the PCR test within 72 hours before travel and upload a negative result to Thailand Pass, they are exempt from quarantine and can travel freely within the kingdom.
The requirement for a Thailand Pass, a five-day quarantine hotel reservation and an insurance policy with coverage of at least US$10,000 (reduced from US$20,000) for the unvaccinated remains.
REGULATIONS TO THAILAND FROM 1 MAY 2022
So, from May 1, 2022, entry into Thailand will require:
- Obtain a Thailand Pass. A certificate of vaccination and insurance details with US$10,000 coverage will need to be entered into the system.
- All. There are no more tests before departure or upon arrival. No quarantine, understandably, either.
- Apply for Thailand Pass. You will need a certificate of vaccination and insurance details with a coverage of US$10,000.
- Unvaccinated travellers have two options. Either arrive without certificates at all and undergo a 5-day quarantine (booked in advance when applying for the Thailand Pass), taking a PCR test on day 5. Or (which everyone is likely to choose) – upload to Thailand Pass and submit a certificate of a PCR test done 72 hours before departure upon arrival – and then no quarantine is needed. You do not need to book a hotel for 5 days in advance in this case either.
TOUR OPERATORS ARE WAITING FOR FURTHER RELAXATION AND DIRECT FLIGHTS
Tour operators were very enthusiastic about the planned innovations, calling important the abolition of PCR-test on arrival, as well as the abolition of entry programs and the de facto exemption of unvaccinated people from quarantine.