Thailand Reopening Its Borders
Last updated on 19 August, 2020
After three months of a nationwide lockdown, Thailand has started to partially open its borders despite extending its state of emergency until August 31, 2020.
Let’s take a look at which select categories of residents and international travellers Thailand now permits and what the country’s plans are for tourists!
Which categories of travellers are allowed into Thailand?
As of 1 July 2020, all Thai nationals are permitted to return to Thailand. Thailand has also permitted the entry of selected categories of international travellers in the country. Here are the following categories:
Family members of Thai nationals
Non-Thai nationals who are a spouse, parents, or children of a Thai national, can apply for a Certificate of Entry to enter Thailand. Applicants will need to present a copy of their visa. If the permit has expired, they will need to apply for a new one.
Foreigners who have a certificate of residence
Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid certificate of residence, or permission to take up residence in the country can also apply for a Certificate of Entry to enter Thailand.
Work permits holders & business travellers
Individuals who are allowed to work or hold a valid work permit (including their spouse and children), as well as business travellers will be permitted into Thailand.
Diplomats & officials of international organisations
Individuals who are diplomats or officials of international organisations, including their spouse, parents and children, can apply for the Certificate of Entry at their nearest Thai embassy.
Non-Thai nationals who are under special arrangements such as guests of the government, investors and highly skilled workers are permitted to enter into Thailand.
International students are now able to enter back into Thailand, including the parents or guardians of the students. Students will still be required to present evidence of their enrolment from the school/universities as well as an approval letter from the concerned authority under the Ministry of Education.
Medical tourism applicants
International travellers who are seeking medical procedures like infertility treatment and cosmetic surgery can now enter the country. The applicant can travel with up to three accompanying people. Travellers will have to provide an appointment letter with a doctor in Thailand, documentation from the Thai embassy in their country of origin and a negative COVID-19 test before travel. They will be tested again on arrival and also before they depart Thailand. All patients will also be subject to a 14-day quarantine after their treatment, after which they are free to travel within the country. Those seeking COVID-19 treatment, however, will not be allowed entry.
More information can be found on the Civil Aviation Authority website.
Health checks requirements to adhere to
Travellers who are permitted to enter Thailand are required to:
- take a COVID-19 test, conducted by the RT-PCR technique within 72 hours before their scheduled flight, at their own cost. In addition to a negative COVID-19 test results, travellers are required to have a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate.
- OR provide proof of health insurance covering all medical expenses, including for COVID-19, and a Certificate of Entry issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, they may be refused entry if they show symptoms of COVID-19.
Upon arrival in Thailand, travellers will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine at government-designated hotel facilities. However, business travellers from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, mainland China & Hong Kong could be exempted from the 14-day quarantine period under the fast track entry. This will only be applicable if they have certificates showing that they tested negative from COVID-19 and were tested upon arrival, at their own cost.
What are Thailand’s future plans for tourists?
The deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has predicted that the country is unlikely to reopen its borders to international leisure visitors this year. As such, tourism operators are proposing a new tourism plan Safe and Sealed to replace travel bubbles. The proposal would only allow travellers from cities that have a record of zero infections for at least a 30-day window, and they will only be able to travel and stay in specific hotels and provinces.
Unfortunately, travel plans to Thailand are going to have to be postponed until next year, but there’s no need to worry, as we have compiled a list of countries that are currently open to tourists! Maybe you want to have a sun-soaked beach holiday in Portugal, or you want to eat your way through Italy.