Thailand-Malaysia border crossings reopen after two years
Land border checkpoints between Thailand and Malaysia have reopened today (Friday), after being closed for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A main checkpoint in Sadao district of Thailand’s southern province of Songkhla saw about 20 Malaysians, out of 107 “Thailand Pass” applicants pass through. Numerous immigration and health officials were deployed to screen the arrivals. Those who wish to enter Thailand via land checkpoints must register for the “Thailand Pass”, have both travel and health insurances and pay for the RT-PCR test on arrival in Thailand.
Most of the local shops in Sadao district are, however, still closed. One of the shopkeepers said that she had to close her clothing shop permanently and sell drinks instead, as they have been hit hard by the border checkpoint closure.
She said also feels the current restrictions and costs to enter Thailand may be the reasons for the low number of arrivals. She believes that, if the restrictions are further eased, the number of arrivals would increase, which would help to improve the local economy.
Based on discussions between immigration officials of both countries yesterday, Thais arriving in Malaysia are not yet allowed to enter the duty free mall and Malaysia is not accepting labour from Thailand.
Arrivals in Malaysia must use their passports and are not allowed to use temporary border passes, except for goods transport drivers. They should also show proof of a negative RT-PCR test result taken 48 hours before departure to Malaysia. They also need at least 20,000 US dollars of health insurance and a COVID-19 inoculation certificate, proving that they have received at least two doses of vaccine. If not, they have to enter quarantine in Malaysia, for which they must pay themselves.
Those entering Thailand must apply for a “Thailand Pass”, have travel and health insurance and pay for their RT-PCR tests in Thailand.