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Is Thailand Open to Tourists?

As covid lockdowns disabled the global economy, Thailand also suffered immensely. Huge losses due to loss of income from tourism, both domestic and international, and the flow on effect having next to zero tourists in the country had a resounding impact. Regulations were brought in by many countries, including Thailand, which hindered or completely halted the flow of international travel. Thailand closed its border from time to time in 2020 due to regional situations, and has been strict with measures taken to prevent the spread of the “virus”.

With such a large portion of Thai economy dependent on tourism, the Thai government has been under a lot of pressure. The relevant offices tried hard to balance the curb of panic and the economy, but so far have only managed to push the country deeper into recession.

Many foreign residents and tourists are stuck in Thailand due to travel restriction, which have been in place for almost a year now. As of December 2020, travelers from up to 56 countries can come to the kingdom again with visa free schemes, for different durations according to country specific, bilateral agreements. All visitors, however, need to comply with compulsory quarantine period of 14-days (this may change soon) and have to show proof of a negative PCR test.

Open to Tourism in 2021

Thailand is now open to international travel but with restrictions. These include proof of documents such as fit-to-fly, a negative covid test, and possibly some other documents according to which country the tourists are coming from.

When arriving Thailand, foreigners have to undergo a quarantine period of 14 days. Even with the special tourist visa (STV), for up to a nine month stay in Thailand – introduced in the last quarter of 2020 – these visa holders also need proof, documents and to be in quarantine for two-weeks at a high cost as well. For those looking for longer-term visas, consider an ED visa as an option as well.

Other Options than State-Approved Hotels

Unfortunately, upon arriving into Thailand from abroad, for both Thai and non-Thai citizens, it is not possible to quarantine in your own home. You can choose an alternative state quarantine (ASQ) package, which includes a hotel room, 3 meals per day, Wi-Fi, transportation, transfer from the airport, and a health check twice a day. Please see Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) in Thailand for further information.

It is safe to say that foreign tourists are welcome here, but they need to spend time and money to follow the extra regulations that are now in place during this strange time. See our post on how to quarantine in Thailand for tourists.