Thailand will drop quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries as early as Nov. 1, the prime minister confirmed on Monday.
Travelers from at least 10 countries, including UK, Singapore, Germany, China and USA will be exempt from quarantine on arrival. More countries are expected to be added on December 1st.
Under current rules, newcomers who hold certificates of entry (COE) issued on or after May 1, 2021 must meet a mandatory 14-day quarantine, regardless of their nationality or vaccination status.
During quarantine, travelers cannot participate in leisure activities outside the hotel’s quarantine rooms. They can only go out for mandatory Covid-19 tests.
All of that will change when the new entry rules take effect.
“Today, I ordered the COVID-19 Situation Management Center (CCSA) and the Ministry of Public Health to jointly consider [the quarantine requirement lifting] within this week,” said the PM.
“From November 1, Thailand will begin to reopen without quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated people traveling to the country by plane from what we classify as low risk countries.”
Until now, visitors trying to access the territory must spend 21 days in a low-risk country before entering Thailand. Once in the country, they must observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The exception is the tourist island of Phuket, as well as nine other islands, which are open to tourism without quarantine.
The problem is that visitors are restricted to these places and are not legally allowed to “jump” to other parts of the country unless they have been there for at least seven consecutive days.
The government recognizes the dangers of this bold choice, so it is gearing up for an increase in “severe cases” of coronaviruses as a result of lifting the quarantine on arrival.
“I don’t think the many millions who depend on the income generated by the travel, leisure and entertainment industry can withstand the devastating blow of a lost second New Year’s vacation,” he said.
According to data released by authorities, last year the country lost about $50 billion in tourism revenue, a 82% drop.
To further boost the economy, Thailand also plans to allow the resumption of alcohol sales in restaurants and reopen entertainment venues by Dec. 1, when the vaccination campaign picks up.
While the vaccination effort increases, Thailand also hopes to allow the resumption of alcohol sales in restaurants and reopen entertainment venues on December 1st.