Government AffairsInternational travellers can look forward to eased entry once again as latest update comes on the heels of waning Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom.

Thailand resumes quarantine-free travel starting 1 February

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Quarantine-free travel resumes for vaccinated international travellers in bid to boost tourism recovery.
Quarantine-free travel resumes for vaccinated international travellers in bid to boost tourism recovery. Photo Credit: gettyimages/tapui

Thailand announces quarantine-free travel for international travellers starting 1 February. This latest update on 20 January comes as Covid-19 infection cases drop in the nation in recent weeks.

Vaccinated visitors will undergo Thailand’s Test & Go quarantine waiver programme, which was suspended last December — just seven weeks in — due to rising Covid-19 cases caused by the omicron variant.

Under the Test & Go programme, visitors are required to undergo Covid-19 tests upon arrival and again five days later. The policy requires visitor movements to be tracked as well.

Igniting economic recovery is key for Thailand, as emphasised by Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith in a Bloomberg report. He said Thailand can no longer close their borders as the economic costs will be too high, citing the need for reopening and managing the outbreak to go hand in hand.

Which may explain why amid measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak in end 2021, Thailand chose to allow Phuket to remain open under a separate Sandbox programme — where the list was recently expanded on 11 January to include Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Surat Thani.

This latest 20 January announcement also includes further expanding the Sandbox list again, adding beach destinations Pattaya and Koh Chang.

International arrivals to Thailand currently stand at about 0.5% of the pre-pandemic figure, which achieved a record of nearly 40 million in 2019.

Efforts to boost travel interest have been ongoing, with players working on travel themes ranging from health and wellness to sports to food.

For instance, Thailand recently renewed its Michelin Guide partnership to attract gourmets, while Phuket has been stirring interest in medical tourism as well as in sports tourism with international competitions.

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