Understand the latest of Thailand travel restriction measures during Coronavirus pandemic
Despite the Coronavirus situation, Thailand still welcomes visitors who want to enter the country. But obviously, travelling there will not be as easy as before. You will need to prepare a checklist for entry approval, Coronavirus swab test, yada yada.. before you travel. And upon arrival, you certainly will need to undergo quarantine instead of heading straight to your destination, unlike how it was in the pre-Coronavirus era. Here you will find summary of Thailand travel restriction, tips for travelers entering Thailand and the latest update on travel arrangement for vaccinated travelers.
Updated review using Thailand Pass as of December 2021 can be found here.
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Thailand travel restriction during Coronavirus pandemic for foreign visitors
Thailand allows foreign visitors to come both for leisure and business purposes during the Coronavirus period as long as you have the relevant visa and satisfied all of the country’s restrictions.
There are certainly restrictions in place when you come to visit Thailand. The best place to check what travel restrictions you need to adhere to is the Thai embassy website from your place of departure. The website will include the most updated information about restrictions for travelers from that country. For instance, if you are in London, you can check the website of Thai Embassy in London for official travel information.
Before you travel to Thailand, there are several things in your checklist that you need to prepare:
- Passport and the right visa for your stay
- Medical certificate with a lab test result showing that Covid-19 is not detected, using RT-PCR test, issued 72 hours or less before departure
- Certificate of Entry (COE)
- Medical insurance
- Booking of alternative state quarantine (ASQ) on arrival date
What to expect at the airport? travel document check, health declaration, and transportation from the hotel waiting for you. Thailand country reopening initiative reduced quarantine period to 7 to 10 days depending on whether you are vaccinated. However, the quarantine period is now back to 14 days due to the latest Coronavirus wave.
Preparing for visa, certificate of entry, quarantine in Thailand and what-not
Visa and starting your COE application
Thailand has just extended tourist visa for some countries that are eligible for visa exemption from 30 to 45 days. Once you confirm that you have the right visa for your travel into Thailand, start your COE process. The process should take less than 30 minutes, but it may take 2-3 days for you get preliminary approval. Pro tip: DO NOT book and upload any supporting documents such as flight or hotel booking until you receive this preliminary approval. You can start your COE process here.
Official video for the COE registration process.
Book flight, Alternative State Quarantine hotel, and medical insurance
After getting the COE approval email, you can proceed to book a flight, ASQ, and medical insurance. You can check the Thai embassy website for your country/city for available flights. For ASQ, you can book your quarantine hotel in Thailand via travel aggregator like Agoda or directly via the hotel website. Agoda is a great place to compare prices if you do not have any place in mind yet, or you can also use this sheet that has info compiled by a government agency. You will also need to purchase medical insurance with a minimum coverage of US$100,000 covering Covid-19 treatment in Thailand. You can check out and purchase medical insurance online via the Thai General Insurance Association here.
Get printable version of your approved COE
Now, you can upload confirmation documents for flight, ASQ and insurance to the COE portal to obtain a printable version of the final COE which you will need during your travel. It would be a good idea to ensure that any details on your COE are aligned to your actual travel date, flight/ASQ booking. If you change your travel date or time, re-visit COE portal again – however when our flight was canceled, we had to go to the Thai embassy to do the info update (which took less than 30 minutes).
Book Coronavirus test
After you are done preparing for the COE, you should book the Coronavirus RT-PCR test. You will need to take this test no longer than 72 hours before departure.
Other useful tips:
- Get all the documents ready before your travel to Thailand. Also, print this T8 form so that you can fill it in and present it to the officer upon arrival
- Download AOT Airport application, Thailand Plus application before flying
- Some airlines may have their own special document requirement at check-in, be sure to check with your airline beforehand
Travel restriction and quarantine in Thailand
Officers at the airport will check the above-mentioned documents upon your arrival. The ASQ hotel will arrange transportation for you so keep an eye out after collecting your luggage and come out at the arrival hall. You will be restricted from making a stop or detour and will be escorted directly to your booked ASQ venue. You will need to take a Coronavirus test upon arrival and during your quarantine period. The regulation will not allow you to leave your room during the quarantine, however some hotel may set aside an on-premise relaxation area for you so do check with your hotel. After completing the quarantine, you will get an official quarantine/coronavirus test certificate and you will be good to go!
If you are curious about what’s Thailand quarantine experience is like, feel free to check our Thailand quarantine review.
Arrangement for vaccinated traveler / vaccinated passport
Vaccine passport has been a hot topic among travelers, however we may need to wait for some time before we can travel using this. Right now vaccination will only help to reduce your quarantine period when traveling to Thailand. There is a road map to removing quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers in October 2021, however this is subject to change.
Our verdict on Thailand travel restriction
Thailand travel restriction during coronavirus time may be confusing to many people. So many documents and approval to prepare for, and such requirement can change anytime depending on the decision by the government. Based on our own experience, this gets easier with a guide or a checklist hence we hope you find this piece of content useful. Lastly, with quarantine requirement in Thailand (and potentially in your own country on the way back), a longer trip to Thailand would be more worthwhile.
If you are planning on staying in Thailand for an extended period, check out other resources below: