Whether for business or pleasure, travel has become a more complex task in recent times. The pandemic has compelled many countries to order travel bans with the belief that less movement means less risk of transmission. For those looking to travel to Thailand, a key concern has to be whether they will need to go into quarantine. 

Many countries, including Thailand, have been requiring travellers to quarantine for varied periods once they go through immigration. This quarantine period is to ensure they are not infected with the Covid-19 virus. Travellers are tested at the end of the quarantine period as verification. If the test results are negative, they are permitted to travel within the country. Thailand has been requiring a 14-day quarantine at government-approved accommodation. This is alongside the requirement for a Certificate of Entry (COE). 

These requirements have however changed for many travellers from November 1. This follows an announcement by the government that travellers will no longer be able to apply for COE. Depending on which country they are travelling from and whether they are vaccinated, they may now opt for the Thailand Pass, the Sandbox Programme, or the Alternative Quarantine schemes. 

So in answer to the question “Do I have to quarantine if I go to Thailand?”, the answer is it depends.

The Thailand Pass

This scheme is allowing fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air from 63 approved countries and territories to skip quarantine. Though exempted from quarantine, they will still be required to undergo Covid testing before they can be allowed to travel freely within the country. The travellers will have to have been in the eligible countries or territories for at least 21 consecutive days before travel. They do not have to have a valid passport or be residents of the said countries and territories which include:

Brunei Darussalam
Czech Republic
Hong Kong
New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
Slovak Republic
South Korea
Sri Lanka
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States

The travellers will have to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travelling. Thailand’s list of approved vaccines includes:

  • CoronaVac (Sinovac)
  • AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • COVILO (Sinopharm)
  • Sputnik V

Before applying for the Thailand Pass, a traveller will also need to assemble certain documents, including:

  • A valid passport
  • Thai visa (if required)
  • Certificate of vaccination
  • Negative RT-PCR test results issued within 72 hours before travel
  • Confirmation of paid reservation at government-approved accommodation (For 1 day and including fee for RT-PCR test)
  • Proof of insurance with a minimum cover of $50,000

Upon arrival in Thailand, travellers will need to spend at least a day in government-approved accommodation. This is not a quarantine, just a waiting period to allow for the results of a required RT-PCR Covid test. If negative, travellers will be allowed to carry on with their trip. 

Sandbox Programme

This scheme is to accommodate travellers from countries and territories not on the eligible list for the Thailand Pass. Under this scheme, travellers will be required to go into quarantine for 7 days in government-approved accommodation in designated Sandbox areas. The areas are spread out and include many major tourist hubs, allowing travellers some flexibility in choosing destinations that are already a part of their itinerary. This will make it easier for them to get their vacation underway once released from quarantine. The Sandbox areas include:

  • Bangkok
  • Buri Ram
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chon Buri
  • Krabi
  • Loei
  • Nong Khai
  • Phangnga
  • Phetchaburi
  • Phuket
  • Prachauap Khiri Khan
  • Ranong
  • Rayong
  • Samut Prakan
  • Surat Thani
  • Trat
  • Udon Thani

When applying for this scheme, travellers will need to provide:

  • A valid passport
  • Thai visa (if required)
  • Certificate of vaccination
  • Negative RT-PCR test results issued within 72 hours before travel
  • Confirmation of paid reservation at government-approved accommodation (For the 7 days and include the fee for RT-PCR test and antigen self-testing kit to be undertaken on day 6-7 of your stay with the results to be uploaded on the MorChana app)
  • Proof of insurance with a minimum cover of $50,000

Alternative Quarantine

This scheme can be for anyone that does not qualify for the Thailand Pass or Sandbox Programme due to not being fully vaccinated. It requires travellers in this category to undergo a quarantine of at least 10 days in a government-approved accommodation. The documents required when applying for this scheme include:

  • A valid passport
  • Thai visa (if required)
  • Negative RT-PCR test results issued within 72 hours before travel
  • Confirmation of paid reservation at government-approved accommodation (For the 10 days and include the fee for two RT-PCR tests to be taken on arrival and day 8-9 of your stay)
  • Proof of insurance with a minimum cover of $50,000

Benefits of the new schemes

With many travellers likely to qualify for the Thailand Pass, it is hoped that the tourism sector will become re-invigorated. Quarantine stays have been prolonged. This means that for anyone travelling on holiday or business, there has been a need to add at least 2 weeks to their travel time to account for this period. The cost of quarantine stays at government-approved accommodation is also at the expense of the traveller. The time and money spent are more than many travellers can afford and the reason most have stayed away despite the many attractions available. 

Under the new schemes, travellers can avoid quarantine or have it reduced. This will once again make travelling to Thailand affordable and more enjoyable for travellers. With higher tourist numbers, the many businesses and workers that depend on this industry can also be revived, helping to boost the local economy. 

Those that qualify for the Thailand Pass will not have to go through quarantine when travelling to Thailand. Those that may only qualify for the Sandbox Programme or Alternative Quarantine will need to through quarantine, but the period has been reduced compared to the previous system. 

If you are looking for help or advice about quarantining in Thailand, or how to get the Thailand Pass then get in touch with one of the team at Thai Visa Expert. Customers can book the room certified by SHA+ directly with the hotel and to buy insurance can click on the following link.

Thailand Pass & its Requirements