COVID-19, coronavirus, whatever you want to call it… It’s f***** international tourism in Thailand. And across the world.
- Entry to Thailand requirements coronavirus
- Thailand tourist entry requirements COVID-19
- Entry requirements for Thailand during COVID
- Thailand entry restrictions
Here is the latest information and Entry Requirements For Thailand, Covid-19.
You can now travel to Thailand from overseas if you have a visa. You can use any class of non-immigrant visa, education visa or tourist visa to enter Thailand. Visa’s are once again being processed in consulates. In addition to holding a visa, you will also need, a negative coronavirus PCR test. A fit to fly certificate. Travel insurance with $100,000 USD of medical coverage. A confirmed booking at an approved 2 quarantine hotel for two weeks. A declaration form and a certificate of entry from your embassy.
Blended with official announcements from the Thai government, the information here is first hand, acquired from living in, and travelling south-east Asia throughout this ‘pandemic‘.
To give you a bit of history into the coronavirus shut down Thailand. In Chiang Mai, in February 2020, Thailand recorded the first case of the coronavirus outside of China. Acting swiftly, Thailand’s government managed to keep the number of coronavirus cases low, potentially saving many lives. But at the same time, locking down the borders of a country which relies so heavily on tourism had f***** up the lives of those working in the tourism sector. Read more about life in Thailand during lockdown here.
Now, months later, and desperate to start getting back to normal. Thailand is very cautiously prising their borders open to foreigners again.
Although to be blunt. While it is possible to travel to Thailand now, I wouldn’t get your hopes up about taking a ‘normal’ vacation to Thailand anytime soon. If you want my advice start shopping for vacations from 2022 onwards. And here’s why.
Travelling to Thailand during the coronavirus pandemic is possible, but also costly and stressful. And for general tourists probably isn’t worth it. Unless you plan to spend a few months there, then travelling to Thailand right now just isn’t suitable for most people.
However, if you do plan to
work online, sorry, I mean… stay long-term in Thailand as a ‘tourist’ or need to travel for business, work, to be with family, your spouse or your children. Then as long as you don’t mind spending two weeks in quarantine, it is possible.
Is Thailand Open To Tourists Now?
Not Really. Well Yes, But No, But Yes… As is the way in south-east Asia, things are not always black and white.
Tourists can no longer arrive in Thailand, without a visa.
And visa exemptions and visa on arrivals are still suspended, for the foreseeable future. But that doesn’t stop you from applying for a visa before you travel.
If you’re dreaming of returning to or visiting the land of smiles, then, providing you apply for a visa in advance, are prepared to jump through a few hoops and don’t mind handing over a bit more cash than you would probably like to, your dreams can become a reality.
Foreigners travelling to Thailand during the coronavirus must meet the following criteria:
- Hold a valid visa
- Provide a negative PCR Test
- Provide a fit to fly certificate
- Hold travel Insurance With $100,000 USD coverage
- Agree to quarantine on arrival at your own expense
- Fill out a COVID declaration form and T.M 8 form
- Have a certificate of the entry (COE), from the embassy online
In this post I’ll go into more detail about each of the entry requirements you’ll need to meet in order to travel to Thailand, now.
Let’s start by looking into the type’s of visa you can apply for to enter Thailand.
1. Visa Requirements To Enter Thailand COVID-19
Any foreigners who entering Thailand from overseas must have a valid visa approved before they travel.
You can enter Thailand from abroad with the following type’s of visa:
- STV – Special Tourist Visa
- TRV – Tourist Visa
- NON-B – Non-Immigrant Business Visa
- NON-O – Non-Immigrant Visa (Married to Thai Citizen)
- ED – Education Visa
- Elite – An Expensive Overpriced Visa
Who Can Enter Thailand During COVID-19
General tourists are not able to enter Thailand visa-free, but there are some groups of travellers, (including tourists with a visa) who can to enter Thailand at the moment.
Who Can Enter Thailand Without A Visa
- Thai Nationals (obviously), hold a Thai passport? Then, of course, you’ll be able to return home.
- Diplomats, those on consular missions or those invited by the Prime Minister.
- Carriers of necessary goods. Generally, truckers bringing goods from Myanmar or pilots of cargo aircraft.
But I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you’re not a Burmese trucker, right? Or a Thai citizen? And you probably haven’t been invited to Thailand by the PM. While it would be an honour, I doubt there are many diplomats getting their travel updates from backpackbob.com!
Who Can Enter Thailand With A Long Stay Visa
This next list of those who can enter Thailand at the moment will apply to people who have visited Thailand previously for reasons other than tourism.
- Holders Of A Non-Immigrant O Visa: Married to a Thai citizen, or the parent of a Thai nationality child? Then a Non-O visa is suitable for you. Although if you’re married to a Thai citizen, chances are you probably know this already.
- Holders Of A Non-Immigrant B Visa: With or without a work permit. If you are travelling to Thailand for work, for business, or to teach English, then you can enter the country using a Non-B visa.
- Thailand Elite Visa: If money can solve your problems, you can pay the extortionate price for an elite visa which will get you entry into Thailand now.
- Education Visa: If you’re travelling to study at a government-approved school, you can travel on an ED Visa.
Who Can Enter Thailand Now With A Tourists Visa
So you’re not a diplomat, you haven’t been invited to Thailand by the PM. You haven’t got a Thai wife and you haven’t got a job offer. What are your options? Let’s talk about tourist visas.
You can now enter Thailand as a tourist, providing you have a visa approved in advance. There are two types of visas which tourists can currently use to enter Thailand. These are:
TRV – Tourist Visa: Any nationalities can apply for a Thailand Tourist Visa. Stay in Thailand for a total of 90 days including one extension.
STV – Special Tourist Visa (Long Stay Visa): This class of new tourist visa is for those travelling from low-risk countries, (more information about the Thailand special tourists visa). Stay in Thailand for 270 days including extensions.
Countries Permitted To Visit Thailand
Visa exemptions and visa on arrivals have been suspended for all nationalities, for the foreseeable future. Holding a visa is an entry requirement for all foreigners entering Thailand.
The good news, however, is that now Thailand is easing travel restrictions, all nationalities that were previously eligible to apply, are once again able to apply for a, (single-entry), tourist visa.
A new class of visa has also been announced, called the ‘special’ tourists visa. This class of visa is available for issue by consulates in low-risk countries, and grants a longer stay in the country that a standard, single-entry tourist visa.
Thailand’s government has announced a list of so called ‘low-risk’ countries, the countries are as follows.
|Countries Thailand Considers Low-Risk|
|Brazil (unsure why)|
If you’re entering Thailand from overseas, you’ll need to arrive with a negative coronavirus PCR test in hand. A pretty understandable and straight forward entry requirement.
Many countries have adopted the policy of needing international travellers to show a PCR test on arrival. You’ll need to get tested before you travel, as close to the date of your flight as possible. PCR test results are accepted in Thailand, for up to 72 hours from the date you are tested.
You’ll also be tested again by medical staff, using a rapid test when you arrive in Thailand. If you test negative then you’ll be free to enter Thailand and be transferred into your quarantine hotel. If a passenger tests positive they will be transferred to a state quarantine hospital and all other passengers on the flight will be re-tested.
Having a PCR test is not fun, but it is necessary. It’s something I had to have done recently to travel internationally to Bali. You can read more about getting a PCR test in Bangkok, here.
3) Do You Need a Fit To Fly Certificate To enter Thailand
No, a fit to fly certificate is not an entry requirement for Thailand. At least not officially. But some sources have suggested that you will need a fit to fly certificate, and knowing how often Thailand likes changing their mind on entry requirements it is something I would recommend to get before you travel, just in case.
You will, however, need a fit to fly certificate, to give to your embassy when you are requesting a certificate of entry, and you may also be asked for one when you apply for a tourists visa, depending on the requirements of the embassy which you make an application to.
4) Travel Insurance Requirements To Enter Thailand
Thailand are covering their a** by making travel insurance a mandatory entry requirement for foreigners. Which is understandable and fair. To be honest, in my personal opinion, you shouldn’t be travelling in Thailand without insurance, pandemic or not.
The minimum coverage you’ll need is $100,000 USD.
If you’re looking to buy insurance as an entry requirement for Thailand, I would suggest world nomads, which is the insurer I currently use, and have used without any issues, for the past five years of travelling in south-east Asia.
5) Quarantine Requirements To Enter Thailand
Visa, coronavirus test, fit to fly certificate. What else? The list of entry requirements to enter Thailand is never-ending! Well, there is more. The most expensive, the most talked about and often criticised requirement to enter Thailand is the need to spend 14 days in alternate state quarantine.
You’ll need to contact a quarantine hotel and make a reservation before you travel to Thailand.
As it’s quite a detailed entry requirement, I have written an entire post dedicated to Thailand’s alternate state quarantine system here. You’ll find a full list of approved quarantine hotels here, with prices and information on how to book.
6) Health Declaration Forms Required To Enter Thailand
This is the easiest of Thailand’s entry requirements, and it is basically a couple of forms you’ll need to download, fill out and sign to declare you are not sick, and do not have any symptoms of the coronavirus.
There are two forms which you need to print out, fill out and sign before you travel. First is called the ‘health declaration form‘ the second in the T.8 form. The same information is requested on both forms and it could easily be a single health declaration form. But, this is Thailand we’re talking about. Don’t expect things to be simple.
You can download both of the forms for free, using these links:
Free Download: Thailand Health Declaration Form
Free Download: Thailand T.M.8 Declaration Form
Both of theses forms are entry requirements for Thailand, so you’ll need to have them filled out to enter Thailand.
7) Certificate Of Entry Required To Enter Thailand
This is where things get a little bit confusing, to travel to Thailand you’re going to need a certificate of entry. You can apply for a certificate of entry online at the following website: https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/.
Before you make an application for a certificate of entry you’ll need to have had a visa approved, once you have a visa, head over to this website and fill out the online application form.
With your certificate of entry pre-approved, you will then need to book your flight and your quarantine hotel in Thailand, then submit this information on the same website.
Here is a helpful video put together by the Thai Consulate Online, explaining the process:
So once you’ve met all of Thailand’s entry requirements; visa, coronavirus test, fit to fly certificate, travel insurance, quarantine hotel reservation, health declaration form and a certificate of entry. Then you’ll be free to jump onto a flight from anywhere in the world and then, two and a bit weeks later, you’ll be free to roam Thailand! With far less cash than you had before!
Read more information, published by the London Thai Embassy on how to get a certificate of entry, here.
Vaccination Requirements To Enter Thailand
Similar to countries that require travellers to be vaccinated against Yellow Fever. It’s pretty likely that once a vaccine for coronavirus has been made available to the public, most countries, Thailand included, will make it an entry requirement to visit.
At the moment Thailand has made no announcement in regards to if they will mandate a coronavirus vaccination as an entry requirement in the future. But at the time of publishing this, with no vaccine currently available, it is obviously not an entry requirement.
COVID-19 Health Requirements While in Thailand
Honestly, life is back to normal in Thailand. You might be required to leave your name and phone number when travelling by air, you’ll have your temperature checked when you enter most shops or public spaces, and you’ll sort of need to the social distance thing.
The two health requirements that Thailand is pretty strict on is, having your temperature scanned when going into a 7-11 convenience store, and wearing a face mask when you’re are on public transport.
Requirements And Domestic Travel Restrictions In Thailand
There are no travel restrictions within Thailand’s borders, domestic flights are operating as usual and all of the countries airports have re-opened to domestic travel. Busses and trains are operating again and you are free to move around the country as you please, in exactly the same way you could before coronavirus.
How To Apply For A Thailand Tourist Visa
As a visa is now an entry requirement to come to Thailand, and tourist visas are once again being issued. I will be putting together an entire post dedicated to applying for a Thai tourist visa during COVID in the coming weeks, but I’ll leave you with a little bit of information on how to apply here:
Standard Tourist Visa (TRV) – The standard tourist visa or single entry tourist visa can be applied for online at the Thai E-Visa website: https://www.thaievisa.go.th/Home/TourismLeisure.
Apply for a tourist visa on the Thai Government’s E-visa Website.
Special Tourist Visa (STV) – This class of visa allows you a longer stay in Thailand and can also be applied for online, you can learn more about the special tourist visa, here.
For more information and clarification on Thailand’s current entry requirements, the Thai Embassy in London has put together a very useful page listing the entry requirements you’ll need to meet, for each class of visa.
Other South East Asian Contries
There it is, everything I know about Thailand’s entry requirements for foreigners at the moment. If you think it sounds stressful and expensive, then I agree with you. But if you want to travel to south-east Asia without a headache, Bali in Indonesia is a much easier choice. And somewhere which has already opened to tourists with far more relaxed entry requirements.