Today is a big day for international travel. Not only is Australia letting people travel internationally once again (in some cases without quarantine), but Thailand is also opening to vaccinated travelers without quarantine.
Thailand’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism (pre-coronavirus, it made up about 20% of the county’s GDP), yet up until now borders have largely been closed, at least for those looking for free movement without quarantine. That has finally changed as of today.
Thailand has reopened as of November 1
It’s now official — Thailand has reopened to fully vaccinated travelers from 63 countries as of November 1, 2021. With this plan:
- Fully vaccinated travelers are eligible to enter Thailand by air if they’ve been in one of 63 countries for at least 21 consecutive days prior to travel (so this isn’t about citizenship, but rather about where you’ve been)
- Travelers need to complete the Thailand Pass registration form prior to travel, at which point they’ll be given a QR code to enter the country; if you have questions about how this works, check out Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Facebook page, which has lots of info
- An RT-PCR coronavirus test is required within 72 hours prior to travel
- A second RT-PCR coronavirus test is required on the day of arrival, and the traveler must stay in their accommodation until the result comes back negative
- Medical insurance with a minimum coverage of $50,000 is required for travel
The plan for this was first announced by Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, just a couple of weeks ago. Many wondered about whether or not this would actually happen, given that we’ve seen seemingly endless reopening plans announced, but none materialized. This time around it really happened.
One major concern has been that even though the country is opening to tourists, the plan was for most lockdown restrictions to remain in place. This includes a 10PM curfew, bars remaining closed, and restaurants not being able to serve alcohol. Those restrictions would cause many people to reconsider a vacation there. While not all restrictions have been lifted, the ban on alcohol has at least been lifted in many areas popular with tourists.
Which 63 countries has Thailand opened up to?
Thailand has opened to travelers who have been in one of 63 eligible countries for the past 21 consecutive days leading up to their trip. This is based on where one has been for the past 21 consecutive days, and not nationality or even residency. These countries include the following:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- Slovak Republic
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
I’m not surprised this is happening
Up until this point, Thailand’s reopening plan has been a hot mess. I don’t know how many dozens of reopening strategies we’ve seen proposed by various government officials in Thailand, only for nothing to come of them. That’s why I’ve been skeptical of Thailand’s plans, and prior to this latest update, haven’t written about them much.
This time is different, because I truly think we’re reaching a turning point when it comes to travel restrictions. We’re finally at the point in the pandemic where even conservative destinations are starting to make realistic plans to open up — just look at countries like Australia, Fiji, Singapore, etc.
Once countries have widespread vaccinations, at some point I think we’re at the “new normal,” because there’s not some magic that’s going to happen to completely eradicate coronavirus anytime soon (or probably ever).
Thailand has officially reopened to vaccinated travelers from 63 countries as of today, November 1, 2021. Those who have been in select countries for the past 21 days will be able to travel to Thailand quarantine free, in conjunction with a coronavirus test before departure and upon arrival.
This is a fantastic development for travelers. Along with Australia at least once again allowing citizens to travel internationally, I’d say it’s a good day for international travel recovery.
What do you make of Thailand’s tourism reopening?