Thailand will fully reopen to vaccinated travelers in a phased approach
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It was originally published in January.
Have you already received the COVID-19 vaccine? Thailand is preparing to welcome you with open arms.
This week, the Thai government said it will reopen in a tiered approach, which builds on the previous announcement that the Thai island of Phuket will welcome vaccinated tourists from July 1.
Before that, Thailand’s Phase 1 reopening will begin on April 1, when foreign tourists traveling to the pilot provinces of Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai and Pattaya will be permitted to enter if they have a vaccination certificate and quarantine for seven days in a hotel.
Then, as of July 1, foreign tourists arriving in Phuket who’ve received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will not be required to quarantine for seven days.
In the third phase, starting Oct. 1, travelers arriving in the five aforementioned pilot areas will not have to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.
And finally, starting Jan.1, 2022, no foreign tourists arriving in Thailand will need to quarantine so long as they are fully vaccinated.
“There are people who are fully vaccinated and ready to travel,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, the governor of the tourism authority of Thailand. “But they would only choose destinations that have vaccinated its residents and don’t require quarantine.”
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The move to enter Phase 2 and not require quarantine for vaccinated travelers arriving in Phuket will require at least 70% of Phuket’s residents to be vaccinated in order for the plan to reopen move forward.
The measure will come not a minute too soon for local tourism operators. Tourism is one of the nation’s largest gross domestic product drivers (GDP), and preventative measures against COVID-19 resulted in a huge blow to the industry.
In January, local hotel groups petitioned the Thai government to waive mandatory quarantine requirements for entering travelers who’ve been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
Thailand is one of the world’s most popular international destinations, with a record 40 million visitors in 2019.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic caused those numbers to plummet to just 6.8 million international arrivals in 2020, according to the Financial Times. Worse yet, the current predictions for Thai tourism only foresee 10 million international visitors in 2021, further affecting the country’s economic situation.
According to Supasorn, the island of Phuket expects about 100,000 visitors in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg reported.
But Thailand’s strict measures have paid off in other ways: The Southeast Asian country has managed to limit its COVID-19 outbreak to 28,900 cases and 94 deaths — no small feat for a nation with 70 million residents excluding visitors. The nation’s metrics reflect much of Asia’s success as a continent in quashing the coronavirus.
The Thai tourism department has also done its best to frame quarantine requirements in a positive light.
A prominent banner on the official website proclaims, “Amazing Thailand, Happy Quarantine” and encourages visitors to “change a boring quarantine into a joyous, relaxing time.” The Happy Quarantine program includes craft kits for quarantined arrivals, according to the Independent.
Still, no vacationer fantasizes about visiting Thailand to create arts and crafts in a hotel room for two weeks, especially for travelers coming from halfway around the world.
Thai tourism limits incoming visitors to a shortened list of country-approved hotels, although the list spans some 200 properties across the nation, with more than 120 hotels in Bangkok alone.
As of right now, travelers who can prove they’ve completed the full vaccination regimen will be considered eligible for quarantine dismissal on arrival in Phuket from July 1.
Thailand isn’t the only country exploring updated travel requirements for vaccinated travelers. The African island nation of the Seychelles, for example, has already begun allowing fully vaccinated visitors to enter without undergoing quarantine.
Additional reporting by Vikkie Walker and Emily McNutt.
Featured photo by Supoj Buranaprapapong / Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.