11 July 2024

Thailand has decided to reopen its borders to citizens from 46 COVID-19 low risk countries on November 1st, instead of just the 10 announced previously.

The 11pm-3am curfew in Bangkok and 16 other provinces will also be lifted from October 31st, but bars, pubs andkaraoke bars located in provinces open to travellers under “sandbox” model are to remain closed and gathering of more than 500 people is still banned.

The 46 countries, whose citizens will be allowed to enter Thailand without quarantine if they meet the requirements set by the Thai government, are Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States and Hong Kong.

Foreign tourists from the low risk countries must be fully inoculated with two doses of a recognised vaccine, have negative results from RT-PCR tests taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Thailand, take another RT-PCR test within 24 hours of arrival, have a minimum of US$50,000 health insurance coverage while in Thailand, have written or electronic confirmation of hotel bookings and have negative test results before travelling domestically without quarantine.

In reopening Thailand’s borders to more countries, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha explained, in his Facebook post Thursday night, that he realises that several other countries in the region, such as Bali in Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and Malaysia, as well as the US, have made similar announcements.

He said that, if Thailand wants to attract more foreign tourists “Thailand has to move faster and move now and, if we wait for everything to be perfect, we will miss the chance and tourists may visit the other countries instead.”

The prime minister said that he has consulted with all parties concerned about the change of plan and has urged the Ministry of Public Health to speed up mass vaccinations.

Acknowledging the greater risk of more COVID-19 infections as a result of this sudden change of plan, the prime minister said that the risk is worth taking because Thailand, like many other countries, is now better able to cope with the disease and is learning to live with the virus.

He stressed the need for everyone in Thailand not to lower their guard and to comply with basic safety measures, such as wearing face masks in public, observing social distancing and regularly washing hands with sanitizers.