Tips & News

Thailand Is Making It Easier for Vaccinated Tourists to Visit — Here’s How

The country has tossed out the pre-travel PCR test requirement for vaccinated visitors as of April 1.

Bangkok

Bangkok. Photo by Cedric Arnold

By Alison Fox

Apr 1, 2022

THAILAND HAS LIFTED the requirement that vaccinated travelers take a pre-arrival Covid-19 PCR test as of April 1.

What exactly does this mean? Vaccinated visitors do not need to take a Covid-19 PCR test before flying into the Kingdom of Smiles, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. You do still need to take a PCR test on arrival, which is prepaid before departure from your country of origin at the same time as a one-night reservation in a government-approved hotel (don’t worry, that includes basically all of the good ones!). If not a Thai citizen or tax-paying resident, you also must hold an insurance policy with coverage of at least US$20,000.

These regulations fall under the quarantine-free Test & Go program. Once your test from day 1 comes back negative, you may go off and travel freely in the country. On day 5, you are asked to self-test with an antigen kit you receive upon arrival in Thailand.

The decision to scrap pre-arrival testing comes as Thailand “prepares a four-phase plan to downgrade the Covid-19 pandemic to an endemic disease,” according to the tourism authority.

Wooden pier in Phuket thailand pre arrival pcr test
Wooden pier in Phuket. Photo by Prasit Rodphan/Getty Images/Canva

Thailand first started welcoming international tourists quarantine-free as part of its Phuket Sandbox program in July 2021, but required them to remain on the island. In November, Thailand then allowed tourists to visit the rest of the country quarantine-free before tightening border restrictions again in December amid the emergence of the omicron variant.

Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai. Photo by Cedric Arnold

While Covid infections had been increasing, the country has vaccinated about 71.8% of its population, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Today, in addition to Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea have also eased border restrictions, hopefully heralding a renewed era of more open travel in Asia.

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