Thailand travel restrictions: how to get Thailand pass, and Covid entry requirements for UK visitors explained

Fully vaccinated travellers from more than 60 “low risk” countries can holiday in Thailand and avoid a lenghty hotel quarantine on entry as it opens to tourists

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Thailand has reopened its borders to tourists after 18 months of Covid-19 restrictions.

The news marks a welcome boost for the country’s tourism industry, which has been hard hit by the pandemic and caused visitor numbers to drop by more than 80% last year.

The Thai government is predicting revenues to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, although China’s ongoing border closures could hinder the sector’s recovery, as Chinese tourists make up the country’s biggest number of visitors.

It is expected that the relaxation of rules will increase tourist numbers by up to 15 million next year, despite the fact that much of the country still faces strict measures.

Thailand is currently registering close to 10,000 coronavirus cases per day and only around 42% of its population is fully vaccinated.

What are the entry requirements?

From 1 November, fully vaccinated travellers arriving from 63 approved “low risk” countries and territories will be allowed to enter Thailand without having to quarantine.

Bangkok and Phuket are among the airports opening to countries on the list, which includes the UK, the United States, Australia, Japan, Canada and most of Europe.

Travellers who meet the new entry criteria will only need to stay in a government-approved hotel for one night, instead of the previous 14, while they await results of a Covid-19 PCR test which will be taken on arrival.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand states that travellers must have been in one of the approved countries and territories for 21 days or more before arrival in Thailand, except for Thais and foreign residents.

A certificate of vaccination with an approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before travel must be presented on arrival.

Those previously infected with Covid-19 within three months must have received one dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travel and show a medical certificate of recovery.

Visitors under the age of 12 who are travelling with their parents are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

All travellers will also need to show a medical certificate with proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

Travellers must also have an insurance policy with coverage of no less than $50,000.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving from all other countries are eligible to take part in travel to Thailand under the Sandbox Programme, which requires visitors to stay in a hotel or other accommodation approved by the Thai government for seven nights.

Travellers from all countries that are not fully vaccinated are still required to complete quarantine at a State Quarantine or Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility.

During quarantine, you will not normally be allowed to leave your room except for medical treatment or to take Covid-19 tests.

How do I get the Thailand Pass?

Visitors need to apply for the Thailand Pass online before travelling to the country.

After applying, you will need to wait for approval of your vaccine certification and paid-accommodation, including a PCR test.

Once you have received confirmation of approval, you will receive a Thailand Pass QR Code.

This must be presented to the Health Control officers on arrival to carry out checks and you will then proceed through immigration procedures.

Following this, a PCR test must be taken at the reserved accommodation, or at a pre-arranged test centre.

Travellers can then proceed to the pre-arranged airport transfer for the one night quarantine stay where you must await your test result in the room. You should download the MarChana App at the hotel.

If you test negative, you will receive an antigen test kit for Covid-19 self-testing on day six and seven of your stay.

The MarChana App will alert you to self-test on the relevant days and record the result.

Once you leave the quarantine hotel, you are free to go anywhere in Thailand but most follow the relevant guidelines and measure in place at your chosen destination.

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