Beautiful landscape, bustling cities, rich culture and amazing foods - what's not to love about Thailand? In this country you can find almost everything - from pristine beaches, metropolis city, beautiful countryside towns, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As one of the most emerging economic aspect, tourism begin to heal and starting to crawl again in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic. Thailand is betting on a return of foreign visitors to rescue its economy from its worst performance in more than two decades.
Yes, Thailand is open for travellers with special requirements. Here's everything you need to know about COVID-19 situation and the latest travel policy in Thailand.
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On 13 January 2020, The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand announced the first confirmed case. From that date to to 25 April 2021, there have been 55,460 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 140 deaths.
Thailand has been credited for an outstanding performance containing COVID-19 despite a staggering economic cost. Thailand's overall health care system ranked sixth in a 2019 survey by U.S magazine CEOWORLD, beating European countries such as France.
But after almost a year without local transmission, a second wave pushed Thailand back into lockdown on January and February 2021.
Thailand's COVID-19 vaccination program officially begin on March 2021, one day after Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and a group of health care workers received their first injection.
From 1 March 2021, the initial AstraZeneca and Sinovac doses go to health workers, older people, and those who medically at risk. The focus area of vaccination are in the high-risk areas like Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, and Tak (province bordering Myanmar).
As of 18 April 2021, a total of 666,210 vaccine doses have been administered.
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Can I travel to Thailand now and do I need a quarantine?
Starting 1 April 2021, the Kingdom has eased its travel restrictions to accomodate COVID-19 situation. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has released details of the Centre of Economic Situation Administration (CESA) a four stage roadmap to reopen.
The announcement by CESA reveals their opening plan for six major tourist provinces: Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani - Koh Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Chiang Mai - for vaccinated foreign visitors.
All travellers both Thai and foreign nationals are required to undergo a mandatory quarantine at the Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) Hotels, accredited by the Ministry of Health. The mandatory quarantine period reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
Important note: this reduced quarantine requirement will not be applied for those tourism visitors who travels from high-cases COVID-19 countries sucha as Africa.
The ASQ hotel quarantine packages include full board meals, transportation to the hotel, stand-by nurses and COVID-19 tests from partner hospital. Some highly recommended ASQ hotels in Bangkok with 10 days ASQ packages:
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- Ibis Styles Khao San
- Zenith Sukhumvit Hotel
- Courtyard by Marriott
- DoubleTree by Hilton
- Movenpick Sukhumvit 15
- Conrad Bangkok Hotel
- The Landmark Bangkok
Covid-19 travel requirements
In order to be eligible to enter Thailand, vaccinated foreign tourists still need some requirements prior to arrival:
- Valid visa or re-entry permit
- Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Royal Thai Embbasy or Consulate
- COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$ 100,000
- Confirmation of Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel booking
- Medical certificate with RT-PCR laboratory negative result not more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
All vaccinated foreign tourists will have to undergo a COVID-19 screening and RT-PCR test on arrival, and download Alert App
Vaccinated travellers will be able to shorten their mandatory quarantine period from two weeks to 7 days, subject to a certificate of vaccination (Vaccine Passport).
Tourism is vital to the economy of Thailand. Some tourist areas such as Phuket province require a RT-PCR COVID-19 test from a clinic (or travellers are required to take an antigen rapid test) upon arrival.
Some provinces require everyone to wear a mask or covering in public places, otherwise you will incur a fine of 20,000 THB.
Travellers need to check for quarantine requirements for province-to-province travel. Some local government officials within certain provinces have imposed quarantines of mandatory COVID-19 tests (especially red zone provinces).
List of countries that may allow travel to Thailand
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- United States citizens, check here
- United Kingdom citizens, check here
- Australian citizens, check here and here
Tourist attractions in Thailand
There are plenty popular destinations in Thailand, 6 of them are:
- Bangkok : the capital and major city. Extremely diverse, full of hundreds years old temples as well as skyscraper. Heaven for shopaholic and foodie travellers.
- Chiang Mai : located in the north of the country, an ultimate destination for culture lovers. Its beautiful Old Town now dotted with IG-worthy cafes and small boutique hotels.
- Krabi : one of the most beautiful areas in Southern Thailand. Popular with Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. There are many restaurants, bars, markets on the street and great beaches to visit.
- Phuket : Thailand's largest island. Beautiful beaches, great viewpoints, bustling nightlife, and fresh seafood!
- Koh Samui : the third largest island in Thailand. It's located in southeast of the Gulf of Thailand and has been a popular holiday destination for decades. Perfect getaway for an island hopping.
- Pattaya : cultural, historical, and nature destination. There are Buddha Mountain, Sanctuary of Truth, Nong Nooch Botanical Garden, and Wat Yangsangwararam.
Important articles and reliable sourcesReliable sources:
- COVID-19 insurance for foreigners here
- Thailand visa here
- How to travel to Thailand in 2021 here