When Can We Travel To Thailand In 2021?
LAST UPDATE: OCTOBER 22, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is collated from official sources but general in nature. Entry requirements are subject to change at any time. Keep checking for the latest advice from your local government, embassy or consulate to confirm any visa or entry requirements before travel.
Things around the world are gradually returning to normal as the global vaccine rollout gains momentum. We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep this article updated with any new info. So, can we travel to Thailand in 2021? Read on for the latest updates.
AM I ALLOWED TO TRAVEL TO THAILAND?
The Prime Minister has announced that from November 1st fully-vaxxed travellers from 10 low-risk countries will be able to enter Thailand with no need to quarantine at all. These countries initially include the UK, China, Germany, Singapore, USA, and more countries will be added from December. Under the new plan, arrivals from approved countries will need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test before they depart for Thailand and then do another test when they arrive, according to the Thailand tourism board. Once the result is negative, they will be free to move and travel around Thailand much in the same way that any Thai citizen can. Read on for more details!
International travel to Thailand is permitted. All travellers need to obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE), a mandatory official document issued to those permitted to enter Thailand. A CoE can be issued by your local Thai embassy or through the Royal Thai Government's online platform.
Most nationalities including the UK, Europe, Australia, NZ, Canada, USD, Scandinavia and Brazil will usually receive a 30-day visa exemption on arrival for free. If you would like a longer tourist visa or are not eligible for the visa exemption, you can apply for a visa at your nearest Thai consulate prior to entering Thailand.
A new visa option for long term travellers is the Thailand Special Tourist Visa (STV) to enter. This long-term tourist visa allows nationals of all countries to stay for a minimum of 90 days, but can be renewed twice to allow a maximum stay of 9 months. For additional details, as well as any exemptions, view the government source (Royal Thai Embassy)
NEGATIVE COVID RESULT
Travellers must present evidence of a negative PCR test issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
DO I NEED A VACCINE?
The current entry restrictions do not have mandatory Covid vaccine requirements. However, Thailand’s Prime Minister has announced plans to fully reopen the country to vaccinated foreign tourists in November 2021. Basically, if you're jabbed it'll be easier for you to travel to Thailand when it fully reopens. Read more.
As of October 2021, under the Tourism Authority of Thailand's 'Sandbox' programs, fully vaccinated travellers can enter Thailand via Phuket and Koh Samui. Travellers must stay on these islands for at least 7 days (reduced from 14), then are free to travel in Thailand. They must do two PCR tests during this time on the day of arrival and day 6/7. Fully-vaxxed travellers still need to have all the arrangements in advance, including their visa, certificate of entry, Covid-19 health insurance policy, confirmation of hotel booking and negative PCR test before arrival. This signifies the positive progress of Thailand’s plan to gradually reopen the entire country to fully vaccinated travellers in late 2021.
PROOF OF INSURANCE
Travellers must present proof of medical insurance guaranteeing that the provider can cover a minimum of $100 000 USD (or local currency equivalent) for treatment during their stay.
Fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Phuket or Samui under the Sandbox Programme from July 2021 are exempt from a strict quarantine, but must have pre-booked accomodation for 7 days in a 'Sandbox' area certified by the Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration (SHA).
Fully-vaxxed arrivals from approved countries will not need to quarantine from November 2021 according to the Thailand tourism board.
All arrivals in Thailand must register with the ThailandPlus app to monitor virus spread.
RESTRICTIONS & OPEN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Tourist attractions such has museums and temples have begun reopening. National parks and beaches are open, but some have restrictions in place. Restaurants are open but service of alcohol is restricted, though these restrictions will lift in December. Masks must be worn in public spaces.
Each country has different restrictions for travellers arriving from abroad. For information relevant to your situation, keep up to date with local government announcements.
In the UK, international travel restrictions apply under a two-tier system. From October 11 Thailand is moving onto the green list, so Thailand will be GOOD TO TRAVEL! Find out more about UK travel restrictions here.
Like many countries in Southeast Asia, Thailand is eager to restart the crucial tourism economy. The Sandbox pilots have been fine-tuning things for country-wide reopening in November. Part of the preparation includes having at least 70% of the local Thai population in tourist-heavy areas vaccinated, and acceleration of country-wide vaccination rates. Thailand is making serious moves to enable easy travel for fully-vaxxed tourists before the end of 2021.
Travelling Thailand is an epic adventure, and joining one of our group tours in Thailand is the best way to experience it! Whether you're on a short holiday, travelling on a gap year or anything in between, on our 9 - 18 day Thai trips we'll show you the best of this extraordinary country with a new bunch of friends.
We will update this article and our COVID page as official news breaks about when we can recommence travelling in Thailand.
NOTE: This information is of a general nature and restrictions are subject to change, so keep in touch with the latest official advice from your local government and Thai authorities.
WHEN WILL THAILAND FULLY REOPEN TO TOURISM?
Vaccines are allowing life to slowly return to normal, and Thailand’s Prime Minister has announced plans to fully reopen the country to vaccinated travellers by November 2021 to restart tourism. This will start with allowing entry from 'low-risk' countries including the UK, China, Germany, Singapore, USA, but more countries will be added from December 2021. Under the new plan, arrivals from approved countries will need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test before they depart for Thailand and then do another test when they arrive, according to the Thailand tourism board. Once the result is negative, they will be free to move and travel around Thailand.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO TRAVEL TO THAILAND?
The great thing about Thailand is that the country experiences pretty amazing weather year-round. The cooler, dry season between November and April brings pleasant temperatures, sunny skies, and is usually regarded as the best time to go, but even in the rainy season (July - October) the downpours rarely last long and most activities are still on offer. The climate varies through the country, so while the islands go through tropical heatwaves it can be chilly up in Chiang Mai, so pack layers. Needless to say, when Thailand safely reopens for international travel we won't care what month it is - get us to the Land of Smiles ASAP.
WHY VISIT THAILAND?
Why visit Thailand? Why NOT! Thailand has long been the traveller’s gateway to South East Asia. Known for welcoming people, spice-laden cuisine, gorgeous landscapes and idyllic beaches, there are plenty of things to see and do in the Land of Smiles.
EXPLORE ANCIENT TEMPLES & VIBRANT CITIES
From Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Thailand is covered in cities where traditional culture and modernity clash. There are over 40 000 beautiful temples to explore, tuk-tuks to ride, markets to browse, and bars to drink at when travelling through Thailand.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN MOTHER NATURE
Thailand's iconic limestone inlets and stunning beaches aren't limited to islands like Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi. Hidden gems like Khao Sok National Park - a landscape of mountains and ancient rainforests - exist throughout the country, waiting for the intrepid traveller to find.
HIT THE BEACH
Of course, there's nothing wrong with Thailand's famous island beaches! Snorkel, sun-bake, sip a drink, there's fun in the sun for everyone. For more inspiration about things to do in the Phi Phi islands, check out our blog here.
INDULGE IN DELICIOUS CUISINE
We're probably biased, but Thai food might be the best in the world. Backpacking in Thailand is like being in noodle, curry, and stir fry heaven. The tastiest bites are found at street carts in exchange for loose change in your pocket. If you want to learn about the ingredients, culture, and pick up some practical tips along the way, sign up for a traditional cooking class and add a new dish to your repertoire. Read more about our top dishes to try in Thailand here!
GET AMONGST THE NIGHTLIFE
Bored of the dank pub down the road? In Thailand, you can drink at bars on the street, dance on the beach, and party in the pool. There are not many places in the world where you can dress in your brightest colours, order a cocktail bucket, and celebrate on the sand til' the sun comes up. The first Full Moon Party back in Koh Phangan will be a night to remember.
MEET RESCUE ELEPHANTS
If elephants aren't your favourite animal yet - they will be once you meet them. An integral part of Thailand's history and culture, these gentle giants are friendly, intelligent and adorable. Elephants should only ever be interacted with in an ethical context at a legitimate sanctuary, never ridden. The fight against animal cruelty in Thailand is ongoing, so it's important to do your research and make sure any elephant experience while travelling Thailand is socially responsible.
Although we can’t easily travel to Thailand just yet, things are looking good for reopening in November! Travel restrictions are easing and tourism will return with a surge in demand, so now is the time to get planning.
If travelling Thailand sounds like your kind of adventure, click through to check out our 9 - 18 day Thailand small group tours. With expertly crafted itineraries, the guidance of a knowledgable group leader, full end-to-end support, and a new group of friends to make memories with, our trips are the ultimate way to discover a new country!
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