The 31 Strange Steps Thailand Wants Visitors To Go Through As It Re-Opens

There are many things about Thailand that look strange to outsiders but to locals are simply ‘very Thai’. And while there’s increasing pushback against the monarchy (despite lese majeste laws) and against a military junta that last year had to clarify they wouldn’t actually execute tourists for taking selfies at the Phuket airport there’s still much acceptance of things as they are, without reason or justification.

It may even seem perfectly normal that as Thailand looks at how they can re-open to tourism amidst the global pandemic that putting potential visitors through a 31 step process that involves prepaying a 90 day hotel stay can seem perfectly normal. (HT: God Save the Points)

In the draft proposal Thailand is considering, there are (4) different agencies involved in the process of approving a visit to the country: the Immigration Bureau, Foreign Ministry, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and Tourism Ministry.

  • Everyone must have at least $100,000 in health insurance
  • And a negative Covid-19 PCR test within 72 hours of arrival
  • Prepay both a 14 day quarantine and a 90 day hotel stay
  • Travel only by charter or private flight

Even with a “fit-to-fly certificate” and a health certificate, along with health screening on arrival, tourists would be required to quarantine for 14 days – after which they must wear a wristband or activate a tracing app before heading to their hotel.

That’s a lot to go through even for 90 days, but visas are extendable out to 270 days. Without tourism in Thailand, though, the monkeys are running amok.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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 many Thai people are racist. It is sad but true.

    What drives me crazy is the inability of people here to use their brain. It seems like they are trained to not think, just obey.

    This supposed disease has officially killed 58 people this year and none in several months. Who is the entire country wearing masks for a disease that isn’t here?

    Why are they making near impossible for those who’ve lived here for ten years or more to get home to their own families?

  2. As one who’s two days away from repatriating with my wife back to Thailand NOTHING surprises me. The hoops and jumps and cost to repatriate is unreal

  3. I also understand you are supposed to quarantine in your home country for two weeks before you leave, test at the beginning and end of the quarantine before leaving for Thailand AND show proof of having stayed away from any places with large gatherings of people. Unfortunately, the people that are suffering the most during this time in Thailand are all the tourist industry small businesses and workers that are still unemployed. I doubt seriously that this great idea is going to generate near as much money as they think it will. If they want tourism to start back up then they need to make it easier for people to get there.

  4. i have been to thailand 3 times per year for the past 6years…the only health problem i have had is food poison…whilst there….i left there february 2020….and never had a cold or flu in the past 10 years..it is impossible for me too bring covid too thailand…i can quarantine 2weeks before leaving have test before leaving have test at airport on arrival…and take every precaution with masks…and hygiene….if i do not feel 100% healthy with any signs or feeling of any illness.i will use my own initiative…and not travel…..the thai government should accept the world as too learn too live with this virus…instead of treating every one with the presumtion they have covid…that is not the case in millions of healthy people….they should open there borders too healthy people…..and not force them too desert thailand a place i love…and start vacation in another country…

  5. Utter incompetence and stupidity having so many requirements are as well as requiring 100K insurance,the Thai Tourism is going to kill the Golden Goose

  6. ridiculous!! I’ve been in love with Thailand for the past 6 years, bought a house under the Thai wife’s name and I was going to retire there in the next few years.. I’m rethinking it all and will sell the house.. it’s not only this stupid kovid law, it’s how they continue to treat farangs, I’m sick of it, if we charged Asians more to get into a museum we’d be racists but they do it and it seems normal to them. so weird. I think Thailand has lost its grip on reality, the west has had enough of their superiority complex, I reckon we’ll be going to Vietnam/Philippines instead where they actually respect whites.

  7. Yes Thailand has lost track of reality. They have forgotten who has made their country grow from what it was 40 years ago. They have sucked the wealth from the USA, Europe, Japan, Korea, and are totally ungrateful. And really it is not the Thai people in general, it is the government officers who are totally out of touch with reality.

    There is no Covid here at all. Yet since March no one can come here freely, or leave freely. Essentially the borders are closed unless you are able and willing to pay a small fortune and jump through all these hoops.

    I do not know if anywhere is any better right now, as it seems like this is a global reset of the world and pretty much every country as signed on to it.

  8. Thanks. They are totally nuts. Ruining their beautiful country. Come by private plane? So they might get 5 or 10 tourists. Wow

  9. Why can the brains of government allow those with homes to self issollste??
    Families are being made to suffer with the forced hotel isolation which actually is infecting people that arrive Covid free, West is smart and they will wait along with investors watching the Thai Baht crash by these restraints on tourists and family members holding back towards these restraints appearing very corrupt…..

  10. the way the thai government are working is very effective against covid…the problem is the world is learning how too live with this dreadfull virus…whilst the thai government stand still…the country is heading for very uneccesary hard times for its working class people…and poverty for the poor…i just wish they would re think on the course of action too get the country at least back on its feet too a certain extent….and let tourist back into the country…we in the west have been living with this virus for 7 months..and myself personally have kept too strict cleanliness…and wear mask where necessary…i have been too thailand 18.times in the past 6years..never had a cold or cough never been sick,,,i am covid free and keep distance between other people…i just wish the government would see sense and let tourist back …under very strict conditions…with big fines in place for rule breakers…my holiday insurance now covers against covid…with all the tests available pre flights and post flights…distancing in hotels and round hotel pools…and in bars..there is many reasons too let tourists back….we are very well educated on covid spreading …and the majority of people adhere too the rules…i have hand gel in my pocket at all times when out shopping and use it when i need too….

  11. The way the Thai government are handling this is so far away from reality it’s hard to try and understand what they are thinking. If you where to put in another couple of inticing elements into their package deal like free food and drinks in a luxury hotel i still think they will be lucky to get more than a couple of coaches full of desperate people dying to return to the land of not so many smiling people.

  12. I commend the Thai government. They understand what is necessary to control the virus.

    Is every detail of their policy optimal? No.

    Compare that to the fiasco in the USA with near 210000 deaths at of the time of this post.

    The reason you have so few cases and so few deaths in Thailand and the reason you have relatively fewer restrictions in your day-to-day life is because of the government’s and the peoples response. Relax the policy and see what happens …

    Yes, we are all tired of this, but the virus doesn’t care how tired we are of it. It is present and waiting for opportunities to spread.

  13. i was under the impression…a pandemic was if people dye from virus……but now many people have virus in U.K…but not die from the virus…..it is not a pandemic now….and we are learning too live with this virus….

  14. I was reading another factor to the mission impossible visa the article read after the two weeks quarantine you will be given a wrist bracelet with a device in it whereby they will be able to track where you are. I’m lost for words

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