Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year, generally celebrated as a water festival. Be prepared to get wet all over as revellers abound, ready to soak you as a form of celebrating this season!
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Many foreign nationals right now would hope for a travel destination that does not give you much stress and just rather relax and enjoy. But with COVID-19's presence, it would feel like it is impossible.
However, there is an option of where you can travel where there is no mandatory quarantine. Thailand is one of the top destinations in Southeast Asia that recently opened its borders and offered no quarantine to its visitors.
There are things that you should take note of before hopping on a plane:
- Know that not any or random traveler is eligible for quarantine-free travel to Thailand.
- Know that the Thai government still has requirements to enter Thailand.
- Know that quarantine-free travel to Thailand does not mean you could just fly to Thailand and go to any place that you would love to visit. There are still guidelines to follow.
Test & Go: Quarantine-Free Entry Thailand
Know that not any random travelers have the privilege to have quarantine-free travel to Thailand. There are specific travelers of Thailand who are given the privilege to have a quarantine-free arrival.
To travel to Thailand and Stay Without Quarantine
Travelers who will travel by air from approved countries of Thailand must be fully vaccinated.
Here are the approved countries or low-risk countries by Thailand:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- Slovak Republic
- Sri Lanka
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Hong Kong
As mentioned earlier, to be granted quarantine-free or quarantine exemption upon arrival in Thailand, you must also fly from the approved country of yours to Thailand, and must be fully vaccinated (within 14 days before the travel date)
Requirements for a Quarantine-Free Travel to Thailand
Aside from offering quarantine-free travel to its vaccinated travelers from approved countries, the Thai government is also making it more convenient for its travelers to enter Thailand.
Here are the requirements for quarantine-free travel to Thailand:
Thailand Pass QR Code
Instead of applying for a Certificate of Entry, you will have to apply for Thailand Pass to receive a QR Code. This Thailand pass will require you to fill in the necessary details and upload documents digitally.
To know more about the new online system, read the Thailand Pass page.
Medical Certificate for COVID-19 Test Result or for Recovery from COVID-19
A medical certificate for a COVID-19 Test result is needed for you to travel to Thailand, you will need a negative result of the COVID-19 through the method of RT-PCR test. The result shall be issued only within 72 hours before your travel date.
A medical certificate for Recovery from COVID-19 is needed if you have shown a positive result from the COVID-19 before and you have recovered from it. The certificate for recovery result must indicate that they have recovered from COVID-19 within 3 months.
COVID-19 Insurance Policy
The required minimum coverage has decreased to $50,000 instead of $100,000. The insurance, like before, shall cover all COVID-19 related incidents in case you have contracted COVID-19 during your stay in Thailand.
You may get your COVID insurance policy here: https://u.axa.co.th/Sawasdee_Siamlegal
AQ Facilities or SHA+ Payment Confirmation
It is important to book approved hotels for safety during your stay in Thailand.
You will have to book the hotel for at least 1 night, and the payment of your booked hotel shall include an:
o RT-PCR Test which will be used upon your arrival.
o Antigen Test Kit (ATK), a self-test kit, which you will receive upon leaving your booked hotel for you to test yourself on the 6th or 7th day of your stay in Thailand. Or to test yourself once experiencing COVID-19 symptoms after leaving the booked hotel.
The vaccine must be approved vaccine by the Thai Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or by the World Health Organization.
Children under the age of 12 do not have to be vaccinated but shall have parents or guardians that are vaccinated. A medical certificate with a negative result will be good.
Test Before Go or Test and Go
Know that quarantine-free travel to Thailand does not mean you could just fly to Thailand and go to any place that you would love to visit, there are still guidelines to follow.
To help you get an idea of what you should do as a traveler who is aiming to travel without quarantine in Thailand, here are the guidelines:
- Apply for a Thailand Pass and gather all the requirements that were mentioned above.
- Upon arrival in an international airport in Thailand, you will be subjected to entry, health screening, and immigration procedures. And you will submit all required documents mentioned above to staff or officials.
- After that, you will be transferred to your booked hotel. Upon arrival in the hotel, you will be tested for the COVID-19 RT-PCR test that was included in your prepayment and wait for at least a day.
While waiting, hotel staff will request you to download MorChana.
- If tested negative, that is when you are allowed to travel to other destinations in Thailand.
Upon leaving the hotel premises, they will give you an Antigen Test Kit (ATK), a self-test kit for you to use if you are experiencing symptoms or if not, you will use it on the 6th or 7th day of your stay in Thailand.
After using the ATK, the result shall be sent to or shown to the hotel staff that you once stayed and record the result on the MorChana App that you downloaded.
- If tested received a negative from the ATK, you can continue traveling to other destinations in Thailand.
Blue Zones for Unapproved Countries yet Vaccinated Travelers
Travelers who came from outside the listed approved countries are still allowed to enter the Thailand Blue Zones, but with mandatory quarantine.
Travelers entering the Blue Zones are only required to stay for 7 days and are given a wide option to choose where they want to stay.
The Blue Zones are provinces recognized as places that have completed at least 70% mass immunization and are ready to welcome international travelers.
Here is the list of Blue Zones that you can choose to stay in including the 4 Sandbox locations:
- Chon Buri (Banglamung, Pattaya, Si Racha, Ko Si Chang, and Sattahip – Na Jomtien and Bang Sarey)
- Chiang Mai (Mueang, Doi Tao, Mae Rim, and Mae Taeng)
- Trat (Ko Chang)
- Buri Ram (Mueang)
- Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin and Nong Kae)
- Phetchaburi (Cha-Am)
- Ranong (Ko Phayam)
- Rayong (Ko Samet)
- Loei (Chiang Khan)
- Samut Prakan (Suvarnabhumi Airport)
- Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao)
- Nong Khai (Mueang, Sangkhom, Si Chiang Mai, and Tha Bo)
- Udon Thani (Mueang, Ban Dung, Kumphawapi, Na Yung, Nong Han, and Prachaksinlapakhom)
Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) for the Unvaccinated
Those unvaccinated travelers are still allowed to enter Thailand but unfortunately, unlike the vaccinated travelers, they are subject to mandatory quarantine for 10 days or 14 days, if traveling by sea or land.
Thailand Open for All
By opening Thailand for all, regardless of the vaccination status, also means opening opportunities for Thailand to gain what was lost. The Thai authorities have high hopes in saving the economic downturn since the COVID-19 pandemic had started.
Traveling these days is not as easy as before, right? Travelers like you are subjected to more responsibilities, therefore, requiring you to exert more actions, and more effort to be able for you to have a successful trip to your destination.
It is highly suggested to please extend your patience with the travel procedures. And know that every country, including Thailand, is still in battle with the fight against COVID-19 and is doing its best to do so.
Please bear in mind that the additional requirements, responsibilities, procedures asked by the Thai authorities are implemented with the intention to keep the safety of the public health, both Thai nationals and foreign nationals entering the country.
It is understandable that the additional requirements, procedures, responsibilities to enter Thailand set by the Royal Thai Government may have caused some confusion to some travelers and this is the reason why we would like to do our best to guide you in how to have a successful trip to Thailand.
Before you Travel to Thailand
Before you travel to Thailand, there are some things that you will have to consider knowing and doing first.
Check your Country's Travel Restrictions
Aside from being updated with the travel advisory of your travel destination, Thailand. You should keep yourself updated with the travel restrictions of your respective country. Check your local travel information whether it is okay for you to travel to Thailand or not.
Check Thailand's Travel Advisory
Are you from a country that is allowed to travel to Thailand? Lucky for you, Thailand, as of the moment, is open for travelers from countries all over the world. Yes! any of you who are reading this are allowed to enter Thailand.
However, as mentioned earlier, patience is needed for it would not be that easy.
Check if you need a Valid Visa to Enter Thailand
If you are a non-Thai national but are a citizen from a Visa Exempted country then you are allowed to enter Thailand without a Thai tourist visa which will allow you to stay for a maximum of 45 days only.
If ever that you are not from a visa-exempt country and you plan to stay in Thailand for more than 45 days, you will have to apply for a Thai tourist visa or other visas for other purposes that will allow you to stay for more than 45 days from the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulates located in your country.
Thai Visa applications can be done online. Note that not every citizen from every country can apply online, some countries may require you to apply for a Thai visa physically. So, please check if you are a citizen eligible to apply online.
Once issued a tourist visa or special tourist visa, and want to extend their stay in Thailand, they can visit any Thai immigration office once the traveler has already arrived in Thailand.
Check Entry Options in Thailand
Know that upon entry to Thailand, you will be subjected to stay in a secured area to make sure that you have not contracted COVID-19 during your trip, depending on your vaccination status.
There are 2 options given by the Thai government:
Alternative Quarantine System/Hotel Quarantine
This option is available for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
This option will let travelers stay in a hotel room in a hotel establishment for 7 days (for vaccinated) or 10 days (for unvaccinated) or 14 days (for unvaccinated travelers traveling by land) for a mandatory quarantine.
Hotel Quarantine locations can be found at:
- Buri Ram
- Chiang Mai
- Chiang Rai
- Chon Buri
- Krabi Mukdahan
- Nakhon Nayok
- Phang Nga
- Prachin Buri
- Surat Thani
Travelers will have to book ASQ Hotels if they have chosen this option, the hotel will take care of providing you food and necessities which will be at your expense.
This option is only available for fully vaccinated travelers (except for children).
This option will let travelers stay, still, in a hotel room in a hotel establishment BUT, unlike the alternative quarantine, they will have the privilege to get out of the hotel premises and do any activity that they would like to do, as long as they are within the location of the Sandbox program.
Options of Locations of Sandbox program:
Travelers will have to book SHA+ Hotels if they have chosen this option.
For less hassle and the best-guaranteed price hotel booking, book at Agoda.
SHA+ Hotels in Phuket: https://www.agoda.com/?cid=1892424
Check, Obtain and Prepare the Entry Requirements to Enter Thailand
What are the requirements to enter Thailand? Well, to make it easy for you, here is the list of the requirements that are needed for you to be able to enter the Kingdom of Thailand. Please take note.
- Valid Thai Visa or Re-entry permit (except for Visa Exempted Countries)
- Passport (with at least 6 months validity)
- Confirmed Booked Flight to Thailand
International Flights to Thailand are available, for easy flight booking to Thailand, you can book at Qatar Airways.
- Confirmed Booked ASQ/SHA+ hotel and Confirmed payment for COVID-19 test during the stay at the hotel.
- COVID-19 Insurance Certificate
In purchasing your travel health insurance for COVID-19 or the COVID-19 insurance, please make sure that the coverage is at least THB 1.75 million ($50,000) which will cover:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Life insurance
- Unexpected expenses relating to COVID-19 incidents
- Thailand Pass
To obtain the Thailand Pass QR code, you will have to register and apply online. Choose among the 3 programs and fill out the form with the necessary details that were asked and upload the asked documents.
Note that the documents to upload are the requirements from numbers 2 to 5. So, please make sure that you have already obtained the requirements from 2 to 5 to obtain the Thailand Pass QR code via email.
To know more about the new system, visit the Thailand Pass page.
- Medical Certificate that shows a laboratory result indicating that you are negative from a COVID-19 RT-PCR test. The result shall not be issued more than 72 hours before departure.
- Certificate of Vaccination or Proof that you are vaccinated (especially if you are to choose the Sandbox Program)
- T8 Form
- Declaration Form
- Installed ThailandPlus Application
You can get your COVID-19 Insurance here: https://u.axa.co.th/Sawasdee_Siamlegal
During your Travel to Thailand
On the day of your travel, please make sure that you have all the requirements listed brought with you. For easy access to the required documents, it is suggested for you prepare and organize them.
Also, please follow COVID-19 safety measures. It is advised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to travelers entering the country to practice:
- Mask Wearing
- Hand Washing
- Temperature Checking
- Testing for COVID-19
- Alert Application
Arrival in Thailand
Upon arrival in Thailand, the travelers are subjects for health screening, and the 1st nasal RT-PCR test will also be done upon arrival. Children will be tested through saliva RT-PCR testing.
After the 1st RT-PCR test, the travelers will be transferred directly to their booked ASQ/SHA+ hotel where they will stay until their required days of stay is complete.
During your Stay in Thailand
You may wonder what will happen during your 7-day or 10-day or 14-day stay in the hotel or in the Sandbox. Well, in general, during your 0-1st day of stay in the hotel, you will wait for the result of the 1st RT-PCR test.
For Travelers who are staying through ASQ hotel
- If Negative Result- you will stay in your room while waiting for your required days of stay to be ending. Only on the 6th-7th day (for vaccinated travelers) or 9th-10th day (for unvaccinated travelers) or 13th-14th day (for unvaccinated travelers traveling through the land) will they have their 2nd RT-PCR test.
- If Positive Result- you will be transferred to a health care facility for COVID-19 medical treatment which will be covered by the purchased COVID-19 insurance.
For Travelers who are staying through the Sandbox program
- If Negative Result- you will be able to roam around outside the hotel premises or any locations inside the Sandbox location and do any activity you can do. Only on the 6th-7th day will they have their 2nd RT-PCR test.
- If Positive Result- you will be transferred to a health care facility for COVID-19 medical treatment which will be covered by the purchased COVID-19 insurance.
Note: Travelers are not allowed to transfer to a different hotel.
Completion of Required Days of Stay
After completing the required days of stay and receiving a negative result from their 2nd RT-PCR test, that will be the only time they are allowed to travel to different Thailand destinations.
If the traveler decided that they will proceed to travel to different Thailand destinations, they will be given a "Release Form" which will serve as proof that they have completed their 7-day or 10-day, or 14-day stay.
If the traveler decided that they will proceed to go home to their country of origin or they will proceed to travel to other countries, they are still given a "Release Form". And is suggested to follow travel guidelines and advisory of the country that they will go home or the next country that they will travel to.
If you want to travel to Thailand, you’ll be glad to hear that after months of travel restrictions, Thailand is open for tourists and Thai nationals once again. From November 1, 2021, as long as you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can now apply for the new Thailand Pass system. This new system will give Thailand’s tourism industry a significant boost from its ongoing economic difficulties. The Thailand Pass has been designed by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Digital Government Development Agency to replace the Certificate of Entry or COE.
Thailand Is Open For Tourists
There’s no doubt that Thailand took travel restrictions seriously in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, and rightly so! Thanks to the strict Thailand travel restrictions that have been in place for over 18 months, Thailand is open for all tourists from November 1, 2021.
If you are hoping to travel to Thailand in the next couple of months, or perhaps visit your loved ones over the holiday season, here’s how to easily apply for the new Thailand Pass.
Who can Apply
Thailand Pass for Fully Vaxxed Travelers
By being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you’ll be able to apply for the new travel pass and avoid the frustration of extended quarantine when visiting from overseas. This applies to both fully vaccinated tourists and Thai nationals who came from the 63 low-risk countries on the list. Take note that you must have stayed in these countries for at least 21 days. You will be under the Test-and-Go program that only needs 1 night of stay in an ASQ or SHA+ hotel while waiting for your PCR test result which was taken upon arrival.
Thailand Pass for Fully Vaxxed Travelers under the Sandbox Program
Fully vaccinated travelers who came from outside the "low-risk" nations are still allowed to enter Thailand. They will be under the Sandbox Programme when applying for the Thailand Pass online. Under the Sandbox Programs, travelers can enter Thailand and are required to spend a minimum of 7 nights in an accredited SHA+ Hotel in these Sandbox areas such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Phuket, or Samui. After staying in a SHA+ hotel, they will be allowed to travel to any place in Thailand. Unvaccinated children who are 12 to 18 years old may travel with their parents without quarantine.
Thailand Pass for Unvaxxed Travelers Under the Quarantine Program
Unvaccinated travelers and those who only have their first dose of the vaccine are still allowed to enter Thailand, but they will have to do the 10 nights mandatory quarantine at any accredited ASQ or AQ quarantine hotel. They will be under the Alternative Quarantine when applying for the Thailand Pass online.
Thailand Travel Restrictions
Starting November 1, 2021, Thailand is opening its international borders to all travelers. Whether they will have to do the mandatory quarantine or not, it will be based on their vaccination status and their point of origin.
No quarantine is offered to those fully vaccinated travelers who came from the 63 listed low-risk countries. Whilst, the sandbox programs are offered to those fully vaccinated travelers who came from countries not listed in the low-risk category. A 7-day quarantine is required before they can freely travel to other places in Thailand.
Alternative Quarantine Program is offered to those unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers. They will have to go through the 10 days of mandatory quarantine in any accredited quarantine hotels in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, or Samui. After that, they can freely travel to other places in Thailand.
Required Documents For The New Thailand Pass
If you are fully vaccinated and will travel to Thailand from one of the listed countries eligible to apply for the new travel pass, you’ll need to provide the following documents;
- Vaccination Certificate
- COVID-19 Travel Insurance Certificate
- ASQ, SHA+ Hotel Booking (1 night)
- PCR Test Booking
- Flight Information
- Thai VISA (if applicable)
Here are the countries currently listed as safe and able to apply for the Thailand Travel Pass.
Thailand Pass Application Process
The Thailand Pass involves a QR code system. You’ll first need to register at the Thailand Pass web portal and provide relevant personal and travel information, as well as upload your key documents and evidence. You’ll then receive confirmation of your application. You must now wait for the Thailand Pass to be approved. When approved, you’ll receive the QR entry code via email.
Please note that the application process can take up to 5 to 7 working days, so it’s always best to apply in advance.
Thailand Pass Legal Support
While it is free to apply for the new Thailand Pass, travelers who require assistance and support can do so. At Siam Legal, we assist clients and foreign nationals by preparing the required documents and paperwork needed to start and complete the Thailand Pass application process.
Our legal experts can help you save precious time by working on your behalf and minimizing the risk of VISA-related issues or rejections. In some cases, if travelers upload documents that are in poor condition, or provide inaccurate or misleading information as part of a VISA application process, the embassy or consulate may reject your application, and therefore you won’t be able to travel to Thailand.
There is also a lot of confusion regarding the new travel pass and tourists who have recently received approval for or are in the process of applying for the Certificate Of Entry (COE). In this case, you may feel the need to speak with a legal expert regarding your VISA application. Pre-approval COE applicants must submit all required documentation by November 7, or your request will be automatically rejected. You must also apply for the Travel Pass to travel to Thailand. So, rather than run that risk of rejection, it may be wise to seek legal advice and support.
As of October 1st, the Thai government has made travel and tourism a possibility for visitors from any country in the world. Using the innovative Sandbox program, you can see the beauty of Thailand without quarantine. This update will cover:
- The latest news for Thailand travel restrictions
- An explanation of the Sandbox programs
- Eligibility requirements for travelers visiting Thailand.
News From the Tourism Authority of ThailandCases of COVID-19 are on the decline as Thailand makes its way out of the pandemic. With vaccination numbers rising quickly, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is informing the world that Thailand is now welcoming travelers from any country in the world. Now, fully vaccinated visitors can enjoy the beauty of Thailand through the Sandbox program.
What is the Thailand Sandbox?You can divide the program into the Phuket and Samui Sandbox: The Phuket Sandbox program allows fully vaccinated travelers to enter Thailand without needing to quarantine for 14 days. As of October 1st, tourists from any country in the world can take advantage of the Sandbox to see Thailand — to travel to other parts of the country, you must first stay seven nights. Similarly, the Samui Plus Sandbox Plan allows travelers to enter Thailand via Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. Tourists stay at an SHA Plus hotel upon arrival for seven days, during which time they can travel the islands as they wish. If by Day 8, their COVID-19 test is negative, they may travel anywhere in the country.
Who Is Eligible?Fully vaccinated travelers from any country (who have stayed in that country for at least 21 days before leaving) can visit Thailand through the Sandbox program. Unvaccinated children (under 18) are also welcome so long as they travel with vaccinated parents. Before traveling, visitors must ensure they have met all of the following requirements:
- Proof of vaccination or a vaccine certificate from a WHO-approved vaccine 14 days before departure (at least).
- Travel Insurance that covers your COVID-19 treatment for up to $100,000 USD.
- Proof of negative PCR test results from within 72 hours of your departure.
- A certificate of entry (COE), which is needed by all travelers to Thailand.
- A 7-night stay booked at a SHA+ hotel.
- Payment for COVID-19 tests for use on Day of arrival and Day 6 or 7 of your stay.
- A booked return flight. All flights must either arrive through Phuket or Koh Samui.
- A Thai visa if needed for your nationality.