With travel restrictions in place and coronavirus cases in flux across the world, people are still opting to travel, both for business and leisure. Experts highly recommend staying indoors until you are fully vaccinated.
If you are planning to travel to Thailand during these times, this article can give you an idea of what to expect when you reach there. You can do a bit of research before landing on any of the Thai islands.
The Mandatory Quarantine
Post the onset of the pandemic, Thailand saw one of the most catastrophic events in its history. The current wave in July 2021 is one of the worst virus infection spread waves that it is battling since the pandemic began.
The spiraling number of cases and the rising death toll is a cause of concern for the Government of Thailand. However, it is also important to note that Thailand’s tourism industry took a hit due to the loss of foreign tourists. The overseas clientele of this industry bought in seventy-five percent of Thailand’s tourism revenue of 3 trillion baht.
Thailand attracts tourists around the year. However, the weather in Thailand is most favorable from November to April. The temperature ranges between 29°C to 34°C during this period. Although, it varies a lot during the year. So a quick raincheck on the prevailing climatic conditions can help you to take a call.
These conditions aid in the higher number of people opting to travel to Thailand. The prevailing conditions warrant that every traveler must undergo 14 days of quarantine in the Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility.
From 1st July 2021, there is a change in the stance of the government on this policy. The island of Phuket is open to vaccinated foreign nationals without the mandatory quarantine period.
The government officials plan to open nine more locations from 1st October 2021 if this trial is successful. The selected nine include popular destinations like Bangkok, Krabi, Chonburi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Kiri Khan, Surat Thani, Petchaburi, and Buriram.
The travelers who have passports from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia will not require to obtain visas. It is for those travelers who intend to visit Thailand specifically for tourism. The length of the stay can not exceed 45 days in each visit.
However, if you are from any of these countries, you still need to procure a Certificate of Entry. You will have to follow the mandatory quarantine guidelines upon arrival, as stated earlier. You can opt for a Special Tourist Visa if you are not on the visa exemption list.
Downloading and registering on the ThailandPlus Application is a must. The security officials will ask you to scan the QR code upon arrival. The Department of Tourism of the Government of Thailand has a step-by-step online guide on the entry procedures.
Initially, the STV was on offer for travelers from low-risk countries. However, the new guidelines state that the same is now available to travelers from any country of the world. You can opt for the STV via the Thai embassy or consulate in your country.
A copy of a traveling insurance policy is mandatory. The policy should cover the cost of COVID-19 treatments up to a sum of $100,000. You have to also carry a negative PCR test report for a test conducted within 72 hours prior to departure.
Barring Phuket, if you plan to visit any other destination, the standard testing protocols shall apply.
The Prevailing Conditions
There is a blanket ban on the opening of entertainment venues throughout most parts of the country. It includes nightclubs and bars. Authorities are allowing restaurants for takeaways only in Bangkok and many surrounding provinces.
In public places, be it inside or in the open, masks are compulsory. People not wearing masks attract a hefty fine by the authorities. Temperature checks and sanitization at entry points are in place.
Areas surrounding Bangkok still enjoyed inbound domestic tourist visits before the latest restrictions. However, popular destinations like Koh Samui and Phuket could not garner anything of that sought. If you visit these places, you will get to see empty beaches and deep-discounted stays.
Hospitality establishments in the Karon, Kata and Patong beaches of Phuket have shut down due to the lack of tourists.
So if you are planning to travel to Thailand in these post-pandemic times, be aware of the latest government guidelines. You can follow the government portals for the latest disclosures and updates. Following safety protocols and being cautious is a must during such a visit.