After months of strict travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand is gearing up for a return to normalcy by easing some travel restrictions and quarantine requirements and allowing normal tourists to enter the country.
Travelers around the world are now keen to find out when and how they can travel to Thailand in 2021. What important things do travelers need to know if they are planning to fly to Thailand? Here are some helpful information for you.
Do You Need a Visa to Enter Thailand?
General tourists are not required to apply for a Thai Visa. Since December 2020, travelers from countries under the Visa Exemption Scheme are not required to obtain a Thai visa to travel to Thailand. The Thai immigration will allow the foreigner to stay in Thailand for 45 days with an option to extend for another 30 days at any local immigration office in Thailand.
If you wish to stay longer in Thailand, please know that the normal 60-day Tourist Visa, 90-day Special tourist visa, Thai Elite Visa, and other non-immigrant visas are also available at the Thai Embassy or Consulate around the world.
Certificate of Entry (COE)
Everyone planning to come to Thailand should know that having a valid COE is mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COE or Certificate of Entry is an official document issued to Thai nationals and Foreign nationals who are permitted to enter Thailand. It confirms that you meet the entry requirements as set by the Thai government and you are accepted to enter Thailand.
Foreigners who wish to travel to Thailand must register for the COE at coethailand.mfa.go.th It is advised by the Royal Thai Embassy/ Consulate-General to submit your COE application at least 5 to 15 days before your scheduled departure. You cannot enter Thailand until you have received your COE, so make sure you start the application process well in advance.
After you have obtained a Certificate of Entry into the country, Thailand allows you to fly to Thailand on the flights specified on that particular date. The Certificate of Entry COE for Thailand is issued free of charge.
Thailand COVID Insurance for Foreigners
All foreigners traveling to Thailand must provide a travel insurance policy before departing to Thailand. The COVID travel insurance certificate must be submitted to the Thai embassy when applying for the visa and COE Certificate of Entry and needs to state explicitly that the health insurance is for 100,000 USD or more and COVID-19 is covered. The insurance policy must cover the duration of your stay in Thailand. If your insurance does not meet these requirements, you will not be allowed to travel to Thailand.
Getting a Thailand travel insurance policy covering COVID-19 is easy as you can conveniently buy insurance online with a credit card and the insurance policy and COVID-19 certificate will be sent to you instantly.
Thailand ASQ (Mandatory Quarantine)
All travelers both Thai nationals and foreign nationals are required to undergo a mandatory quarantine at the accredited ASQ Hotels in Thailand accredited by the Ministry of Health.
Thailand is making it easier for international travelers to enter the country after the start of a vaccination campaign against COVID-19. Starting April 1, 2021, for both foreigners and Thai travelers arriving in Thailand from most countries the mandatory quarantine period is going to be reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
However, it’s important to note that this reduced quarantine period in Thailand will not be applied for those coming from countries with a COVID variant, such as the UK and Africa, who will still need to complete a 14-day quarantine under the original regulations.
What If I am Vaccinated?
Travelers will be able to shorten their mandatory quarantine period from two weeks to 7 days, subject to a certificate of vaccination or the so-called “vaccine passport”.
- Certificate of vaccination completed at least 14 days before arrival in Thailand.
- Covid-19 Free Certificate, within 72 hours before departure
Note: Please check with your ASQ Hotel if you will qualify for the 7-day quarantine package.
For foreigners coming to Thailand, a fit-to-fly certificate will no longer be required. Only COVID-19 RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours are needed. For Thai nationals, they may choose to submit either a fit-to-fly certificate or COVID-19 medical certificate.
When Will Flights to Thailand Resume?
Regarding flights to Thailand, the normal commercial passenger flights into Thailand have been suspended until further notice. Nevertheless, the Thai government-organized repatriation flights to Thailand on a regular basis and also allowed semi-commercial flights or charter flights for passengers to enter Thailand. Before booking flights to Thailand, travelers should ensure that they study the different categories of visas granted to foreign nationals at this time to determine the possibility of travel.
You may find the list of semi-commercial flights HERE.
Note: Both land and sea borders will remain closed to foreign travelers.
List of ASQ Hotels
The ASQ Hotel Quarantine packages include not only accommodation but also full board meals, transportation to the hotel, stand-by nurses, and COVID-19 tests that are conducted by the partner hospital during the quarantine. Here are some of the highly recommended ASQ hotels in Bangkok offering the new 10-day ASQ packages:
- Ibis Styles Khaosan
- Zenith Sukhumvit Hotel
- Courtyard by Marriott
- DoubleTree by Hilton
- Movenpick Sukhumvit 15
- Conrad Bangkok Hotel
- The Landmark Bangkok
As entry requirements and travel restrictions for foreigners entering Thailand might slightly vary depending on the country and traveler, we would recommend for you to contact your local Thai embassy or consulate before making any plans or reservations. You may also leave your questions in the comment section below.