United States: Reconsider International Travel Plans, Especially in Thailand
The American Embassy in Bangkok asks all American travelers to reconsider entering Thailand in these perilous times of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a general precaution, it strongly advises them to secure updated information from the US Department of State about the current COVID-19 situation before making any international travel plans. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention or US CDC assigned a Level-2 risk level specifically for Thailand on account of the pandemic. It also announced that Thailand’s borders remain closed to foreign nationals with limited exemptions. Travel to specific places in Thailand is also discouraged on account of civil uprising against the Thai government by local insurgents. These are Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla where martial law has been imposed with the rampant and aimless public attacks perpetrated by the insurgents.
The US Embassy in Thailand informed American citizens in the country about the embassy’s limited capacity to respond to emergency situations that its citizens may encounter in connection with the combined risk of the pandemic and the hostilities in the said provinces. It reminded American travelers that special authorization to visit such provinces is required.
UK: Restrictions and Measures in All Levels
The British Embassy in Bangkok announced to its nationals in Thailand that travel within is available but subject to strict control rules because of the raging COVID-19 pandemic. British travelers within Thailand are asked to download an online application or fill out and submit more travel documents. As in other countries, they also have to wear a face mask and observe health protocols when taking public transportation, such as trains, airplanes, taxicabs, and buses.
An emergency decree is currently in force that forbids all persons from entering high-risk locations, hoard basic supplies, form and attend public gatherings, and spreading false information. The Thai government also strongly discourages unnecessary travel and enjoins all people to avoid crowds or forming them and scanning the QR code when entering public places.
Some hotels and private accommodates for rent are available and the rest are closed because of the pandemic. ASQ Hotels are available for those who need to comply with the quarantine requirement. The British Embassy advised its nationals in Thailand to contact those still open directly for booking. Those still open will scan their forehead for temperature and ask for information on their most recent travels and check them out for possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Information on your recent travel history and any symptoms you may have related to COVID-19. The hotel may impose other protocols that these guests need to comply with British nationals should be informed that certain facilities may not be available during these perilous times. Sports and leisure facilities are among them.
British nationals who feel they have COVID symptoms should immediately contact the Thai COVID-19 hotline number 1422. They should contact the Thai Ministry of Health for a COVID-19 test from the Ministry’s list of government-managed testing facilities. The British Embassy in Bangkok also expressed concern about their mental and emotional welfare that is affected by the ongoing disasters. The Embassy furthermore advised its nationals to get vaccinated in Thailand if they live in it as a provision that the Thai government committed to all residents.
Australia: Do Not Travel to Thailand
This is the hard-line advice of the Australian government to its citizens. But those who are already in Thailand and those who are persistent in entering Thailand are asked to observe the health protocols of the Thai government. These include the wearing of masks, social distancing, and other specific restrictions. The Australian Embassy in Bangkok reminds them that foreign travelers may enter Thailand only under certain conditions, specifically in connection with the pandemic and the hostilities occurring in certain Thai provinces. They are also made aware of the limited outgoing flights in Thailand. While in the kingdom, Australian citizens are urged to keep updated on flights by checking out the country’s social media account.
But the overall stand of the Australian government and its Embassy in Bangkok is to discourage their nationals from traveling to Thailand because of the pandemic primarily, its very unpredictable consequences, and the current unrest in some of Thailand’s provinces.
Canada: Observe a High-Degree of Caution
The Canadian government urges its citizens to observe a high degree of caution if in Thailand or planning to enter it. The warning is directed at both the current pandemic situation and the ongoing hostilities in some provinces in the kingdom. But those who are already in Thailand or decided to enter it, their Embassy in Bangkok announced the observance of the following:
- Local safety and security and avoidance of troubled and dangerous areas, such as the abovementioned provinces
- Requirements for entry into, and exit from, Thailand
- Local customs and laws
- All recognized and probable health risks and restrictions imposed
- Environmental hazards
- Sources of assistance when needed during travel or stay
- Instructions of local authorities
Overall, the Canadian government and the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok strongly recommend the suspension of all international travel at these times.
Thailand: Extension of Some Travel Bans, New Visas Issued
In response to the pandemic situation, the Thailand Immigration in Bangkok extended its travel ban on some international flights until further notice. Foreign entrants who are exempted from the ban include diplomats and foreign workers and their families, representatives of businesses and specific experts invited by the Thai government, permanent residents, foreigners who have Thai families, foreign students and their parents or guardians, business visa holders, medical tourists and staff, holders of Elite Thai visas and APEC cards, holders of special tourist visas and tourist visas, non-immigrant and retirement visa holders, holders of OA and OX, and official migrant workers and normal tourists. They need to first contact the Thai Embassy in their locality and file for a certificate of entry as well as secure further information concerning their entry and stay.
Thailand will allow foreign tourists to stay for a long period if they are under the Special Tourist Visa Program up to September 30 this year. The intention of the Program for long-stay is to encourage the restoration of the tourism industry temporarily interrupted by the pandemic. Those who are qualified for the Program should contact the local tourism authority office of the Thai Embassy in their locality.
As of this current month and as an additional measure towards curbing the spread of the pandemic in Thailand, the Thai embassy requires a 14-day quarantine for travelers from 11 African countries and 10-day mandatory quarantine for all other countries. Moreover, travelers will have to present a completed Thailand health declaration T.8 form, COVID-19 insurance in addition to a visa and certificate of entry.
Check here for Current Information regarding Thailand Travel Restrictions
Thai Visa options for Foreigners Traveling to Thailand
Here are the most common types of Thai visa you may obtain:
- Visa Exemption (for visiting Thailand for tourism purpose not longer than 45 days) This is available to more than 45 countries under this program
- Tourist Visa (for visiting Thailand not longer than 60 days)
- Special Tourist Visa (STV)
- Non-Immigrant Visa (for visiting Thailand based on different purpose of stay and the visa is valid for 90 days and it can be extended in Thailand up to 1 year
- Thai Elite Visa which is valid for 5, 10 or 20 years
The application for the Thai Visa (tourist visa and non-immigrant visas) may be accomplished online, by mail or in person.
Right now, the easiest way to enter Thailand is to obtain a 45-day Visa Exemption or the 60-day tourist visa. You only need to purchase a 60-day COVID 19 insurance which is cheaper and after arriving in Thailand and completing the quarantine, you may change your visa into non-immigrant visas such as marriage visa, retirement visa, Thai Elite visa or other non-immigrant visas. You may contact our Bangkok Office to assist you with the change of your Thai visa.
Checklist for Thailand Travel Restrictions
Things you’ll need to do before you travel to Thailand in 2021:
- Check your eligibility to travel to Thailand
- Apply for your Visa for Thailand
- Confirm the following before your travel to Thailand:
- Apply for COE for Thailand
- COVID-19 Test: 72 hours before departure