Do I Have to Quarantine If I Go to Thailand?

Embarking on a journey to Thailand amidst the current global challenges demands a thorough understanding of the country’s quarantine requirements. With the aim of minimizing the spread of Covid-19, Thailand has implemented various measures, including mandatory quarantine periods for arriving travelers. However, recent updates have introduced alternative options for vaccinated travelers, potentially reshaping the landscape of travel to Thailand. In this article, we will explore the evolving quarantine regulations in Thailand, including the introduction of the Thailand Pass, the Sandbox Programme, and the Alternative Quarantine schemes, to provide clarity to those considering travel to this captivating destination.

Traveling to Thailand During the Pandemic

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.

Travelers at an airport during the pandemic
Travelers at an airport during the pandemic

Quarantine Requirements

Many countries, including Thailand, have been requiring travelers 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. Travelers 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 alongside the requirement for a Certificate of Entry (COE).

Changes in Requirements

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

Thailand Pass

This scheme is allowing fully vaccinated travelers 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 travelers 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.

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bhutan
  • …and more

List of Approved Vaccines

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 traveler 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, and proof of insurance with a minimum cover of $50,000.

Sandbox Programme

Upon arrival in Thailand, travelers 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, travelers will be allowed to carry on with their trip.

In our experience, the evolving travel requirements during the pandemic have made planning and executing trips a more complex process. The shifting regulations and the need to adapt to new travel schemes like the Thailand Pass and Sandbox Programme have highlighted the importance of staying updated on the latest travel guidelines and being prepared for unexpected changes.

Thailand’s Entry Schemes

This scheme aims to facilitate travelers from countries and territories not included in the eligible list for the Thailand Pass. Under this program, travelers will need to undergo a 7-day quarantine in government-approved accommodation situated in designated Sandbox areas. These areas are strategically located, encompassing various major tourist hubs, which allows travelers the flexibility to select destinations already on their itinerary. This approach streamlines their vacation start upon completing the quarantine period. 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
Map of Thailand
Map of Thailand

Application Requirements

When applying for this scheme, travelers must provide the following:

  • 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 is available for individuals who do not qualify for the Thailand Pass or Sandbox Programme due to incomplete vaccination. It demands travelers in this category to undertake a quarantine of minimum 10 days in government-approved accommodation. The necessary documents 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 the anticipation that many travelers will qualify for the Thailand Pass, the tourism sector is expected to experience a revitalization. The extended quarantine stays have been a burden, as they meant adding at least 2 weeks to the total travel time. Moreover, the cost of quarantine stays at government-approved accommodations has been solely on the traveler’s account, making it both time-consuming and expensive. These reasons have deterred many from visiting, despite the appealing attractions available.

Under the new schemes, travelers can either evade quarantine or have it significantly reduced, making travel to Thailand once more affordable and enjoyable. Increased tourist numbers will not only benefit the various businesses but will also aid in rejuvenating the local economy, which leans heavily on the tourism industry.

Revised Quarantine Requirements

Those qualifying for the Thailand Pass won’t be subject to quarantine when travelling to Thailand. Individuals eligible only for the Sandbox Programme or Alternative Quarantine will still require quarantine, albeit for a reduced duration compared to the previous system.

If you need assistance or guidance regarding quarantining in Thailand, or require information on obtaining the Thailand Pass, feel free to reach out to one of the Thai Visa Expert team members. Customers can directly book SHA+ certified rooms with the hotel and purchase insurance by clicking on the following link.

Conclusion: Navigating the requirements for traveling to Thailand during the pandemic has become increasingly complex. With the introduction of the Thailand Pass, the Sandbox Programme, and the Alternative Quarantine schemes, travelers now have various options to consider. These new schemes offer the potential to revive the tourism sector in Thailand, making travel more affordable and enjoyable for visitors. Whether you qualify for the Thailand Pass or need to go through quarantine, it’s essential to stay updated on the latest regulations and seek assistance as needed. Planning your trip with expert guidance can help ensure a smoother and more fulfilling travel experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Whether you have to quarantine in Thailand will depend on your vaccination status and the country you are traveling from. If you are fully vaccinated and arriving from one of the 63 approved countries and territories, you may be exempt from quarantine under the Thailand Pass scheme. However, travelers from non-eligible countries or those who are not fully vaccinated may need to undergo quarantine through the Sandbox Programme or Alternative Quarantine schemes.

The Thailand Pass scheme allows fully vaccinated travelers from 63 approved countries and territories to skip quarantine. However, they are still required to undergo Covid testing before being allowed to travel freely within the country. Travelers must have been in the approved countries or territories for at least 21 consecutive days before travel and meet certain documentation requirements.

The Sandbox Programme is designed for travelers from countries and territories not on the Thailand Pass eligible list. Under this scheme, travelers need to undergo a 7-day quarantine in government-approved accommodation in designated Sandbox areas, with specific documentation and testing requirements.

The Alternative Quarantine scheme is for travelers who do not qualify for the Thailand Pass or Sandbox Programme due to vaccination status. It requires a minimum 10-day quarantine in government-approved accommodation, along with specific documentation and testing requirements.

The new schemes aim to revitalize the tourism sector by reducing or exempting travelers from quarantine, making travel to Thailand more affordable and enjoyable. With these changes, the tourism industry and the local economy are expected to benefit from higher tourist numbers.

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