Roadmap to reopen Thailand to vaccinated tourists
Good news from Thailand! The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), chaired by Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, has approved the TAT’s three-stage roadmap to reopen six major tourist provinces – Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai – to vaccinated foreign tourists.
Three-stage reopening plans lead to no quarantine requirements for foreign tourist arrivals in five pilot destinations from October, with Phuket being the first to lift quarantine from July onwards. Looks like we might be able to travel abroad this July only if we are fully vaccinated and our borders are open.
This development follows the Royal Thai Government’s latest announcement: Thailand reduces quarantine for international arrivals from 1 April 2021, which includes the reduction of quarantine from 14 days to 7 days for vaccinated international arrivals involving the *11 groups of people currently permitted to enter Thailand.
The TAT’s reopening roadmap will take place in stages in the second, third and fourth quarters of this year, specifically for vaccinated foreign tourists arriving in the six specified provinces, which are Thailand’s major tourist destinations.
Stage One (Q2), from April to June, vaccinated foreign tourists will be allowed to undergo quarantine in government-approved hotels or other facilities under a ‘0+7 nights + designated routes’ model. After completing the first 7 nights, they will be allowed to visit other destinations in Thailand.
The ‘0+7 nights + designated routes’ model means that during quarantine, vaccinated foreign tourists will be allowed to engage in leisure activities within the premises of their hotels or other accommodation establishments. They will also be allowed to engage in outside travel activities within designated areas in their selected destination of arrival.
State Two (Q3), from July to September, Phuket will be the first destination to lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign tourists under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ programme. However, they will be restricted to travel activities within designated areas in Phuket for 7 days and will then be allowed to visit other Thai destinations.
For your information, many tourist destinations in Thailand are badly hit by COVID-19 especially Phuket and Samui. With this Roadmap to reopen Thailand to vaccinated tourists, we hope tourism will offer help these places to recover.
Vaccinated foreign tourist arrivals to five other major tourist destinations – Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai – will still be required to undergo quarantine under a ‘0+7 nights + designated routes’ model.
Stage Three (Q4), from October to December, all five other major tourist destinations will join Phuket in lifting quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign tourists. Same as Phuket, tourists will be restricted to travel activities within designated areas in these destinations for 7 days before they are allowed to visit other Thai destinations.
Upon arrival in all stages, vaccinated foreign tourists will be required to undergo a COVID-19 screening, including RT-PCR tests, and download the specified track and trace application.
In order to be eligible to enter in Thailand, vaccinated foreign tourists still need to have all of their advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry.
These include a valid visa or re-entry permit, a Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate; a COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000; confirmation of Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel booking, and a medical certificate with a RT-PCR laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before departure. Interested vaccinated foreign tourists are recommended to enquire at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home country for more details.
In addition, in line with the Royal Thai Government’s announcement, vaccinated international arrivals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine, approved, and registered with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), no less than 14 days before the travelling date. They must also be from countries with no mutated strain of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the MoPH.
The following vaccines are accepted (as of 31 March, 2021): ARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (CoronaVac) by Sinovac (2 doses needed); AZD1222 by AstraZeneca/Oxford (2 doses needed); AZD1222 by SK BIOSCIENCE – AstraZeneca/Oxford (2 doses needed); BNT162b2/CORMIRNATY – Tozinameran (INN) by Pfizer/BioNTech (2 doses needed); Covishield (ChAdOx1_nCoV19) by the Serum Institute of India (2 doses needed); Ad26.COV2.S by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (1 dose needed), and mRNA-1273 by Moderna (2 doses needed).
In Malaysia, the government is using the Sinovac and Pfizer vaccine so we are qualified to enter Thailand pending PCR results within 72 hours before the flight.
Here are some thoughts. While we are still waiting for our own interstate travels, TAT has planned and created to Roadmap to reopen Thailand to vaccinated tourists. We always wonder when will our borders will be opening to vaccinated tourist. How can we progress if there are no plans and no roadmaps?
For the past year, we have many friends in travel industry closed their offices, changed jobs and many are still stacking up losses. We really hope that there are plans like Thailand in making things happen in a safe way.
TAT has shown the world that they have a Roadmap to reopen Thailand to vaccinated tourists. We think it something many countries can consider to create a ‘safe’ travel bubble to reboot the tourism industry.
For your information, we covered many food and travel stories in Thailand in the past and you can check it out at https://www.placesandfoods.com/category/thailand.