Welcome to Ekilove! We believe that travel has the power to transform lives. In these uncertain times, it is crucial to make informed decisions about where, when, and how to travel. That’s why we are here to help you navigate the ever-changing travel restrictions and concerns surrounding COVID-19, ensuring you can travel confidently, safely, and responsibly.
Thailand Travel Updates: What You Need to Know
Is Thailand Open for Travel?
Good news! Thailand is currently open for foreign travelers. As of October 2022, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result is no longer required. Additionally, proof of vaccination is no longer necessary to attend crowded events. This means you can explore the beautiful sights and experiences that Thailand has to offer without these additional requirements.
Entry Requirements for U.S. Citizens
If you are a U.S. citizen, you can enter Thailand for tourism purposes without a visa for stays of up to 30 days on each visit. Previously, Thailand temporarily extended this visa exemption to 45 days for arrivals. However, as of April 2023, it has reverted back to the standard 30-day exemption. If you wish to extend your stay beyond 30 days, you have the option to apply for an extension at a local Immigration Office by paying a fee of 1900 baht.
For travelers from countries not on the visa exemption list, you must apply for a Special Tourist Visa (STV) to enter Thailand as a tourist. Make sure to check the official website for details on the application process.
Travel Restrictions and Limitations
Please note that Thailand travel restrictions may vary in certain regions. Stay updated on the latest news and updates regarding travel guidelines by monitoring the official Thailand travel news.
Starting June 2023, a new tourist fee of approximately $9 US will be required to enter Thailand. This fee will be included in your plane ticket costs. However, the payment process for the fee at land and sea borders is yet to be clarified.
Traveling to Thailand in October 2023: What to Expect
If you’re planning to travel to Thailand in October 2023 or during the fall season, you’ll be pleased to know that travel to Thailand is open. Read on to discover more details and keep an eye out for any updates.
Traveling to Bangkok Airports
Wondering what it’s like to fly to Thailand’s BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport or DMK Don Mueang Bangkok Airport these days? According to Thai Airways, the face mask mandate has been relaxed. Although airports can be busy at times, avoiding crowds might be a challenge.
The good news is that you do not have to quarantine when traveling to Thailand. As of now, no quarantine measures are in place for travelers.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements
Thailand no longer requires a negative COVID-19 test for travelers. As of October 2022, proof of vaccination is also no longer required. Even if you have been vaccinated, there is no need to provide a negative COVID-19 test or undergo quarantine.
Booster shots are not currently required for travel to Thailand, and there is no expiration period set for the validity of vaccinations. However, it’s always a good idea to stay updated on any changes and recommendations regarding vaccinations.
If you need to get a COVID-19 test in Thailand, PCR and antigen tests are available. These tests can be done at the National Institute of Health, 14 Regional Medical Sciences Centers, and private hospitals throughout the country. Prices for COVID-19 tests range from 2,500 to 10,000 Thai baht (approximately $74-$311), and results are typically available within 72 hours. Alternatively, you can also find affordable ATK tests at 711 convenience stores for just over 40 baht.
Healthcare and Safety Measures
Thailand’s private healthcare services are generally of high quality. Hospitals and clinics are open to foreign travelers, and treatment for COVID-19 is available. However, it’s important to note that medical expenses related to COVID-19 treatment may be costly, potentially exceeding 100,000 Thai baht. Therefore, it is recommended to have travel insurance that covers COVID-19-related expenses. Check out Nomad Insurance by Safety Wing for travel insurance options that include COVID-19 coverage.
Current Business and Restaurant Operations
Restaurants, street food stalls, malls, department stores, and other establishments are open in Thailand. Pubs, bars, karaoke outlets, and other entertainment venues are now operating at their normal hours. However, it’s advisable to note that some businesses may still request the use of face masks indoors. As for public transportation, buses are running, and masks are encouraged but no longer required. While wearing masks in public and indoor places is voluntary, it is still recommended in healthcare facilities and may be requested by certain businesses.
Potential Future COVID-19 Restrictions
Looking ahead, it’s difficult to predict whether Thailand will impose new COVID-19 restrictions. Historically, most countries implement restrictions when the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed. Thailand has been proactive in implementing preventive measures while keeping the tourism industry open. Stay informed about the latest developments to ensure a smooth travel experience.
How the Coronavirus Has Impacted Thailand
Thailand reported its first case of COVID-19 infection in January 2020. While the country successfully contained the pandemic for most of 2020, there was an uncontrolled resurgence of infections in April 2021, ranking Thailand fourth in terms of the number of cases in Southeast Asia.
To combat the spread of the virus, Thailand implemented preventive measures such as contact tracing, lockdown measures, and international travel restrictions. These measures significantly affected the country’s economy, particularly the tourist industry. However, efforts were made to revive tourism, including the implementation of the “Sandbox” program in the islands of Phuket and Samui, which allowed fully vaccinated foreign travelers to visit without quarantine requirements.
Thailand has gradually eased entry restrictions, and the color-coded system, which imposed limitations on travel, dining, and entertainment activities, has been removed. Vaccinations in Thailand began in February 2021, with approximately two-thirds of the population vaccinated as of now. For the latest information on COVID-19 cases and testing in Thailand, refer to the Thailand Ministry of Public Health site and Facebook page.
What Locals and Travelers Say About Visiting Thailand Now
We believe that hearing from those on the ground provides valuable insights into the current situation in Thailand. Here are a few subjective opinions from Thai locals and recent travelers to help you understand what to expect:
Peta and Jonas of Exit45 Travels (Australian travelers) visited Koh Samui and reported that Thailand is nearly back to pre-COVID tourist numbers. You will see many locals wearing face masks, but overall, you won’t encounter any problems finding accommodation, great Thai food, massages, or shopping opportunities.
Nat Deduck of Love and Road (Brazilian digital nomad) mentioned that Thailand’s tourism is in full swing, and attractions, hotels, and places to visit are fully open. You can feel a sense of normalcy, and the locals are welcoming and happy to see tourists.
Michelle from Intentional Travelers (U.S. nomad) shared her experience of flying to Bangkok, visiting Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. Thailand seems back to normal, with businesses open and Chinese tourists returning.
These are just a few experiences, and the situation may vary depending on the region and time of visit. Always check the latest travel advisories and guidelines before planning your trip.
Join us at Ekilove for more travel advice and inspiration. Travel confidently, safely, and responsibly with us as your trusted guide. Happy travels!