Thailand Government U-Turns on Covid-19 Travel Restrictions, No Covid Restrictions
- Özgür Töre
Thailand's government reintroduced vaccine requirements for travelers on the weekend and u-turns on Monday and removed the requirement to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand had on Saturday announced the restrictions, effective Monday, ahead of an expected influx of visitors from China, where Covid-19 cases have surged. But on Monday, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that requiring visitors to show evidence of two vaccine doses was "inconvenient" and a panel of experts decided that it was unnecessary as enough vaccinations had been administered globally.
The Phuket Tourist Association on Sunday said foreign tourism operators were enraged about having to issue refunds to customers, many of whom already en route to airports when the new rule was announced without warning, reported Bangkok Post.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) also released a press release on Monday, January 9, 2023 and said that Thailand continues to welcome all international tourists under the fully-reopen-to-tourism policy that was introduced on 1 October, 2022.
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, H.E. Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, said “International travelers arriving in Thailand are not required to show proof of vaccination.”
In addition, foreign tourists are not required to show ATK or RT-PCR test results.
As part of the full reopening to tourism, Thailand is also offering a longer period of stay for visitors. Effective through to 31 March, 2023, the period of stay is extended to 45 days (from 30 days) for tourists from countries/territories entitled for visa exemption, and to 30 days (from 15 days) for those eligible for a Visa on Arrival (VOA).
However, while Thailand is welcoming all visitors, a visitor source market may require incoming visitors including their own nationals returning home to have a negative PCR result.
Thus, Thailand is aiming to correspond with the rules of these countries – among them are China and India. Therefore, passengers from a country that has requirements for RT-PCR tests must have health insurance covering the treatment of COVID-19 in Thailand.
With the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign, tourists the world over are invited to experience the kingdom’s myriad of wonderful existing and new tourism experiences, products and services.