Thailand’s Cabinet Approves Tourist Re-Opening

Last week I wrote that Phuket would re-open to vaccinated tourists starting July 1, and other holiday destinations during the fourth quarter, but it appeared the plan was contingent on vaccination progress. Thailand’s cabinet, though, formally approved re-opening and you can now plan to visit parts of the country if you’ve been vaccinated in just a matter of months.

Here’s the plan:

  • April 1 quarantine-on-arrival will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days “with the exception of visitors from some African countries.”

  • Within a month, vaccinated tourists will see quarantine requirements dropped to 7 days for arrivals in Chiang Mai, Krabi, Pattaya, Phang Na, Koh Samui and Phuket.

  • Starting July 1, vaccinated tourists visiting Phuket will not need to quarantine.

  • If that “proves successful” then starting October 1 vaccinated tourists will be able to visit Chiang Mai, Krabi, Pattaya, Phang Na and Koh Samui without quarantine.

  • All quarantine requirements are expected to be lifted next year.

Chao Praya River Would Still Be Off Limits in 2021

While arguably too restrictive – tourists aren’t going to be able to visit Bangkok, for instance – resort areas tend to have people in less close quarters and activities tend to be more outdoors. And while mRNA vaccines are being shown to be effective against spreading Covid-19 to other people, the data on some of the other world’s vaccines isn’t yet demonstrated.

And in any case these plans are far clearer and less restrictive than when the country was considering making visitors wear tracking devices, and hiring locals to follow visitors everywhere they went. And it’s a lot simpler than the 31-step process outlined in the fall.

(HT: Drew J.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Yes! At least Thailand has “a Plan” with a capital P. Let’s see some other countries come up with a Plan.

    BTW This will be the first time in years that American tourists have been welcomed with open arms throughout the world.

  2. This is idiotic. I’m not interested in going anywhere that I’m restricted into only certain areas and I doubt I’m alone in that. But the idea that they won’t allow vaccinated travelers into Bangkok, particularly vaccines like Pfizer, Moderna, Jensson/JNJ, Sinovac which have been very well examined and have proven their efficacy in peer reviewed and regulated studies, is nothing short of science denial that should satisfy the most demanding anti-vaccine and anti-science conspiracist. An outrage and guarantee of widespread death and sickness from poverty. More evidence that the Thai elites that control the country are completely out of touch with the needs of most Thai people.

  3. Wait so you can’t even go to Bangkok after the quarantine? So basically we are just forced into the tourist areas for the touts to descend upon? No thanks. This type of policy feels more like government control than health concerns, especially since we are talking about vaccinated people.

  4. I presume that I could transit BKK on way to Phuket stay there for 7 days and then return to BKK after.
    Not sure where in BKK airport they would enforce this though.

  5. Thailand’s continued flip-flopping on opening plans is an absolute one-way street, to steal as much money from gullible tourists willing to tolerate ridiculous restrictions at substantial cost, to then be put on a leash only to discover it’s not business as usual, with most things shuttered. Hotel buffets…..nope. Pool and gym restrictions……yup. Early bar/restaurant closing hours……yup. Gathering restrictions……yup. In all of Thailand’s recent announcements, there has never been a single attempt to “sell” the country, to make someone think “I’d like to visit.” No amazing Thailand, no Thai smiles, etc……no attempt to rid the country of scams and corruption…….just give us your money. I’m vaccinated but consider Thailand high risk (very limited testing and pitiful vaccine roll-out). Only a fool would visit before next year (best guess).

  6. That’s good news. My late Oct/Nov trip booked months ago can now go on. As things wind down, and we begin to see ‘vaccine passports’ I cannot imagine that they will continue to exclude BKK.

  7. @Pete “I presume that I could transit BKK on way to Phuket stay there for 7 days and then return to BKK after.”

    No. If you land in BKK and try to leave the airport you will be placed in quarantine for 14 days. This provides no quarantine free travel to Bangkok, even if vaccinated.

  8. @Mak

    Well per above, the quarantine requirements will be reduced to 10 days nationwide.

    I think they need to clarify what the time required in the tourist bubble before you can go to other cities. It seems like 7 days for vaccinated travelers.

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