Similar to the international travel policies of other countries, Thailand is the latest nation to announce that it will allow vaccinated foreigners access to part of its territory without having to undergo quarantine. However, it should be made clear that this development, for the time being, is part of a pilot project which will only grant access to the major tourist island of Phuket and will only begin in July- which should allow some travelers to start planning their summer holidays now.
“There are people who are fully vaccinated and ready to travel. But they would only choose destinations that have vaccinated its residents and don’t require quarantine,” -Mr Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand via The Straits Times
Applicable only to Phuket (for now)
According to Reuters, the country’s coronavirus task force authorized Phuket to accept vaccinated arrivals without them having to quarantine. This will begin on July 1st, after the island vaccinates 70% of its residents. Straits Times notes that this approval will see Phuket reopen three months earlier than the rest of the country. At this point in time, Thailand as a whole expects to reopen to fully vaccinated travelers in October.
Thailand’s current entry process
Thailand, hoping to keep its hard-earned progress in lowering COVID-19 case counts, currently has strict entry requirements in place. This includes the presentation of a “certificate of entry,” a “fit-to-fly” certificate, health insurance, as well as undergoing a 15-day quarantine.
Thailand’s quarantine website notes that during quarantine, “two to three COVID-19 screening tests will be conducted on-property by a partner hospital, meals will be delivered directly to your room 3 times a day, but you will be limited from moving around the premises.”
Below is a graphic showing the previous process for traveling to the country:
Reuters notes that from next month, the hotel quarantine period will be halved to seven days for fully vaccinated visitors to the areas of:
- Koh Samui,
- Chiang Mai,
- Phang Nga
- and Krabi
Thailand’s COVID-19 situation
As a country, Thailand had a relatively small first wave of COVID-19 cases during March and April of 2020. For most of the rest of 2020, new daily case counts were kept to just above or below 100 per day.
However, beginning in late December, case counts exploded, with the country seeing several thousand new cases per day. This peaked in early February with over 7,200 new cases in a single day, according to data from Worldometers. New daily cases are now hovering around 1,300 and currently have an upward trend.
Hopefully, as vaccine rollouts continue, hospitalizations and new case counts will go down. The country received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in late February from China.
Do you have plans to travel to Thailand later in 2021 with the news of its quarantine-waiver for vaccinated arrivals? Let us know in the comments.