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What to expect when travelling to Thailand after COVID-19

Posted on November 23, 2021 by Jason Davis
Maya Bay beach at Ko Phi Phi Leh Island

From 1 November 2021, Thailand eased its barriers to entry and welcomed fully vaccinated travellers with (socially distanced) open arms.

While travelling isn’t as simple as we once knew it to be, it’s important to stay one step ahead of the game and be fully prepared for your next adventure.

If Thailand is on your bucket list, this guide should help answer any questions you have.

Can I travel to Thailand?

Yes, as of 1 November 2021, fully vaccinated travellers from 63 countries, including the UK, can enter Thailand without having to quarantine for longer than one day.

There’s no FCDO travel advice advising against travelling to Thailand apart from a few areas. Travel to Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and the Southern Songkhala province is limited to all but essential travel only due to security reasons.

Keep up to date with the latest travel advice for Thailand, as guidance and information can change at short notice.

Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok

What are Thailand’s COVID-19 entry requirements?

  • Thailand Pass and health declaration

As part of Thailand’s new travel rules, you’ll need to register with Thailand Pass before your trip. Thailand Pass is an online registration system for foreign travellers. It asks for basic travel and health details.

Once your application has been approved, usually within 7 working days, you’ll be sent a QR code to scan on your arrival to Thailand. Thai authorities will then have access to all the details they need to grant you entry.

If you don’t have access to a phone, you can print off a hard copy of your QR code as well.

All travellers must also complete a Thailand Health Declaration T8 form.

  • Vaccination against COVID-19

Travellers will also need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or the World Health Organisation (WHO), for more than 14 days.

Children under 18 are exempt from vaccination requirements as long as they are travelling with a vaccinated adult.

Approved vaccines include: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

Your NHS Covid Pass will be an acceptable form of proof for your vaccination.

  • Negative PCR COVID-19 tests

All travellers will need to show a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure.

You’ll also need to take another PCR test upon arrival in Thailand and quarantine for one day until you receive your test result.

If you’re not fully vaccinated, or not travelling from the UK, you may have to quarantine for longer on arrival and follow guidance set out by the Thai government.

Getting a PCR COVID-19 test in Thailand

If you’re arriving in Phuket, you can use this website to book a PCR test to be taken on arrival at the airport.

If you arrive at any other destination in Thailand, your hotel should be able to arrange a PCR test on your behalf.

The cost of a PCR test in Thailand ranges from 2,200 to 3,000 Thai Baht, that’s around £50 to £68. To prove your test result you’ll also need a medical certificate. Some providers may not include this in the price of your PCR test, so bear this in mind when you’re looking to buy one.

Luxury villa resort in Phuket, Thailand

  • Proof of accommodation

Similar to red-list hotel quarantine back in the UK, foreign arrivals to Thailand must quarantine in dedicated accommodation for one night while they await PCR test results.

As part of the Thailand Pass registration process, you’ll need to provide proof of a confirmed payment for a one-night stay at Alternative Quarantine (AQ) or Safety and Health Administration (SHA+) approved accommodation. Popular hotel booking providers also offer SHA+ options.

What is AQ or SHA+ approved accommodation?

SHA+ accommodation was recently introduced as an accreditation for hotels and places of accommodation. It recognises these places as meeting SHA certification criteria, and also means at least 70% of working staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

AQ places of accommodation are government-approved hotels that were solely used to cater for unvaccinated quarantine arrivals. Though, they now offer one-day stays for vaccinated travellers as well.

There’s not too much difference between SHA+ and AQ approved hotels now.

  • Proof of travel insurance for Thailand

Your Thailand Pass registration will also ask you to submit proof of having valid travel insurance. You need to have a travel insurance policy that covers COVID-19 with a minimum of $50,000 (roughly £37,100) medical cover. Our policies can meet this requirement and we can also provide the necessary forms on request.

Do I need a visa to enter Thailand?

As long as you are visiting for tourism purposes, UK passport holders don’t need a visa to enter Thailand. UK holidaymakers can visit twice in a year, and stay for up to 30 days at a time.

Any visits longer than 30 days will need an appropriate visa. Contact your local Thai embassy or consulate to arrange this. These may come at a cost.

Keep up to date with the latest entry rules for Thailand in response to COVID-19, as they may change at short notice.

Travel accessories and planning on a table

Pre-travel COVID-19 checklist for Thailand

We’ve summarised everything above into one handy pre-travel checklist for flying to Thailand:

  • Thailand Pass QR code
  • Thai visa (if staying for more than 30 days)
  • Proof of approved vaccination
  • T8 Health Declaration Form
  • Negative PCR test result within 72 hours of departure
  • PCR test ready to take upon arrival in Thailand
  • One night stay in AQ or SHA+ approved accommodation
  • Travel insurance with a minimum of $50,000 (roughly £37,100) medical cover

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Thailand?

If your day one COVID-19 test returns a positive result, you will be admitted to a hospital or a suitable hotel for quarantine.

Bangkok Hospital offer quarantine packages for patients ranging from 7 night stays for 24,500 Thai Baht, up to 14 night stays for 49,000 Thai Baht. That’s around £556 and £1,113. These prices include all transportation and medical fees, as well as three meals per day.

Doctor holding clipboard in waiting room

What will my travel insurance cover if I test positive for COVID-19?

All new single trip and annual travel insurance policies with us include COVID-19 cover at no extra cost.

So, as long as you’ve had your recommended COVID-19 vaccinations and you have a medically approved test showing a positive COVID-19 result, you could be covered for:

  • Emergency medical expenses^
  • Repatriation cover to help you get back home^
  • Additional accommodation and transport, if deemed necessary by our medical officer
  • Additional daily benefit if you are ordered to self-isolate in your holiday accommodation if you have COVID-19
  • Cover for cutting your trip short after hospitalisation or death of a close relative or member of your household from COVID-19

Find out more about our superior-rated COVID-19 cover.*

Wat Mahathat Temple in the precinct of Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand

How have holidays in Thailand changed?

Restrictions vary across the country based on the colour coding scheme set out by the Thai government. Blue zone provinces such as Bangkok and Phuket are dedicated tourist zones designed to offer the most ‘flexibility’ for travellers.

Restaurants, spas, shops and historical sites are all open, but they’re currently operating under strict health guidelines that could reduce capacity levels.

Over 100 national parks have also re-opened to visitors.

Entertainment venues such as bars and nightclubs are still closed throughout the country, but they are expected to be allowed to reopen very soon.

Thailand Tourism Updates is a useful resource to find all the latest guidance in place within Thailand.

Do I need to wear a face mask in Thailand?

Face masks must be worn in all indoor and outdoor public areas as well as on public transport.

You may be fined for not wearing a face mask.

Returning to the UK

You’ll need to follow the rules for entering the UK. When returning to England, as long as you’re fully vaccinated, you’ll only have to complete a passenger locator form and have a lateral flow or PCR test ready to take on day 2 of arriving back in England.

Similar guidance is in place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Find out more about what you need to know when arriving back in the UK.

*As rated by an independent consumer group
^ Cover only applies for newly diagnosed cases while travelling.

Jason Davis

by Jason Davis

Jason Davis is Staysure's Senior Content Executive. As a specialist travel insurance provider, we aim to keep up-to-date with travel trends, all while offering tips on how to make the most of your holiday.