BANGKOK, Oct 22 — Thailand is to welcome fully vaccinated visitors starting November 1 from 46 low-risk countries and territories including Malaysia, with the visitors exempted from quarantine.
Visitors from countries and territories that will skip mandatory quarantine include Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha explained that the list has grown from 10 to 46 countries and territories after several countries in the region announced they would reopen borders and ease travel restrictions to welcome international travellers as well as allow overseas travel.
“We need to move faster and do it now because by waiting for everything to be perfect, we could be too late. Tourists may decide to travel to other countries,” he wrote in a post on his official Facebook page on Thursday night.
Earlier this month, during his announcement, Prayuth said the reopening plan to low-risk countries is ‘first small but important step” in decisively beginning the process of trying to restore livelihoods.
The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will finalise the list of countries and territories. It is due to be updated on Dec 1 and January 1.
Under the quarantine free travel arrangement, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air and tested negative for COVID-19 are free visit other provinces in the kingdom.
According to the Foreign Ministry, travellers must be fully vaccinated, at least 14 days prior to traveling. They must reside in the eligible countries and territories for at least 21 consecutive days.
Upon arrival in Thailand, they need to take an RT-PCR test and wait for the result at an approval hotel for one night or until they receive a negative test result.
However, unvaccinated travellers and those travelling from countries not included in the list will undergo 10-day quarantine at Alternative Quarantine (AQ) hotel and need a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result 72 hours before traveling. They will need to undergo two RT-PCR tests upon arrival on day 8 or 9 of stay.
Starting November 1, it is compulsory for all travellers entering Thailand to purchase a medical insurance with minimum coverage of USD 50,000 and show a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result 72 hours before traveling.
Meanwhile, Thailand will reopen Bangkok and other key tourist destinations including Hua Hin, Pattaya, Krabi, Koh Chang and several districts of Chiang Mai under ‘sandbox’ programme, starting November 1, according to the Royal Gazette published late Thursday.
Curfew in these areas will be lifted starting next month, however, the ban on alcoholic beverages remain.
The reopening of these tourist destinations offer another choice to fully vaccinated travellers (not from low-risk countries and territories) to visit the kingdom.
In 2019, Thailand attracted nearly 40 million visitors compared to 6.7 million last year.
To date, Thailand has recorded more than 1.8 million COVID-19 cases and more than 18,500 fatalities.