Building upon previous announcements, the government has announced that 46 countries are deemed low risk and are eligible for quarantine free entry to Thailand. Furthermore, The prime minister has ordered an end to the curfew in 17 provinces, including Bangkok, from Oct 31 to support the reopening of the country to fully vaccinated foreign tourists on Nov 1. However Entertainment venues in the tourism reopening provinces will remain closed
It almost amounts to a deluge of information, with a flurry of announcements from different departments of the government in the last few days. All for an extended effort to power up the moribund Thai economy in anticipation of a potential tourism high season ahead.
“Test & Go”
Kicking off with the TAT releasing a report that outlines the 3 ways to enter Thailand. The first method, dubbed the “Test & Go” allows for tourists from 46 “low-risk” countries to enter if they show evidence of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before their arrival. They will also need to provide evidence of a negative PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of departure from their home country, as well as proof of Covid-19 insurance coverage of at least US$50,000.
The TAT further reports that a payment confirmation for no less than a 1-night stay upon arrival at the approved quarantine facilities or SHA Plus-certified hotel is needed. The prepayment should cover both the 1-night accommodation, the required RT-PCR COVID-19 test, and an Antigen Test Kit (ATK). Upon landing travellors are to then proceed directly by the approved airport transfer to the pre-arranged COVID-19 test centre, or the reserved accommodation and undergo the required RT-PCR COVID-19 test on Day 0-1.
Travellers must also download and install the specified alert application (MorChana), and must wait within the SHA approved accommodation only for the test result, which should be available within the day.
‘Business & Leisure Ultimate Experiences’ (Blue) Zone
Thailand continues to welcome fully vaccinated visitors from countries not on the list under relaxed requirements. Travellers 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. T
The two required COVID-19 tests have been revised to using the RT-PCR method for the first test upon arrival in Thailand, and the ATK method at the designated test centres for the second test, which takes place around Day 6-7. The required health insurance coverage associated with being infected with COVID-19 will be reduced to US$50,000 (down from US$100,000).
Entry Thailand Under Alternative Quarantine (AQ) System
The quarantine period will remain 7 days for travellers who have been fully vaccinated with the approved vaccine, 10 days for air arrivals who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and 14 days for land arrivals who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. However, they will be able to enjoy more activities within the hotel.
The 2 required COVID-19 tests have been revised to using the RT-PCR method for the first test upon arrival in Thailand, and the ATK method at the designated test centres for the second test which takes place around Day 8-9.
The required health insurance coverage associated with being infected with COVID-19 will be reduced to US$50,000 (down from US$100,000).
So we now have a 3 entry methods to Thailand, however once arrived what awaits the traveller? The latest from the government is that entertainment venues in the tourism reopening provinces will remain closed, including pubs, bars and karaoke shops, but operators and officials could begin preparing for their reopening, which would be permitted later. The Prime Minster has already previously announced that the government might lift alcohol restrictions on December 1st, however it is possible it may come earlier as the government seems to be hinting at.
To add further confusion, the Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakan said in a recent television interview that he aims to present to the next CCSA general meeting, the idea opening up entertainment venues to those international travellers in the blue zones, which is the new term of tourism areas, of which entertainment plays a vital part. The Tourism Minister i looking to officially propose that entertainment venues, bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges, pubs and other nightlife venues be reopened in the Blue Zones.
The Minister stated: “I will mention and discuss the matter during the CCSA meeting next week. The reopening might be initially only for foreign tourists to attract them to visit the country.