Traveling and Corona vaccination in Thailand

 

Population till date: 69,890,429

Population to be vaccinated: 13 million

What vaccines: AstraZeneca

Inbound travelers vaccination proof: Yes, Required, exact document to be determined

  • Passport – blank passport pages (1 page per stamp)
  • Business visa
  • Tourist visa required: If you stay more than 30 days
  • Vaccination
  • Health insurance documents/ regular plan and/or supplemental travel health insurance plan with associate claim copies
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination
  • Copies of all prescriptions
  • Contact card

Update March 2021:

Highlights of the proposed quarantine rules from April are:

– Shorter quarantine period of seven days for foreign nationals with vaccine certificates issued 14 days prior to travel and not earlier than three months and negative Covid-19 test results.

– Seven-day quarantine for returning Thai citizens with vaccine certificates issued at least 14 days prior to travel and not earlier than one month. Travellers also need negative Covid-19 test results.

– 10-day quarantine for those without vaccine certificates but have a negative test result.

Those arriving from Africa will still be subject to a 14-day quarantine.

  • All passengers are required to hold a Certificate of Entry issued by a Thai representative in the country of entry, a fit to fly health certificate, a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued no more than 72 hours before departure, and medical insurance worth at least $100,000 USD and that covers costs in case of Covid-19.

  • Passengers are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Thailand at a government designated or Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility at their own cost. Passengers must hold a reservation for the Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel prior to boarding.

    Passengers are also required to download the ‘AOT Airports’ app for tracking symptoms and entering locations on arrival in Thailand due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Passengers will be further required to download the ‘SydeKick for ThaiFightCOVID’ app if they have arrived from a country at risk.

  • Passengers traveling to and from the Netherlands are required to submit a health declaration during the check-in process, due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

  • Passengers are required to download the app for tracking symptoms and entering locations on arrival in Thailand, due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
  • Passengers travelling to Thailand are required to download the ThailandPlus mobile app prior to departure, due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

 

Introduction

 

The land of smiles, Thailand is the first country after China to report an imported case of novel corona virus (2019-nCoV), tested and lab-confirmed by Wuhan, Hubei Province, China on 13 January 2020[1]. The first transmitter was a 61-year-old Chinese woman, living in Wuhan, who traveled from Wuhan – the origin of Corona, to Thailand on 8 January 2020 with mild symptoms of fever, headache, and sore throat.

 

With 9,636 active cases, the country has recently imposed a “Singapore-style model” inspired lockdown again to its four provinces, including Samut Sakhon to restrict the migrant workers from entering or leaving their dormitories to slow down the spread.

 

Impact of Corona Pandemic on Tourism and the Travel industry

 

Thailand, popularly renowned as ‘Teflon Thailand’ for its robust tourism industry, is one of the world’s leading travel destinations with more than 40 million arrivals every year. [2]The significance of the tourism industry in the Thailand economy can be understood that it contributes nearly 13-14% of GDP equivalent to 538bn [3] with one out of six employment contributor to sustain the county’s economic growth. For an economy whose staple is travel, the corona pandemic has turned out to be as monstrous with many other associated downfall.

 

From 7 December, Thailand is reopening borders for 56 countries under the Visa Exemption Scheme to gear up its tourism industry back to its life. However, the travelers would have to go through a negative PCR test & Thailand’s 14-day mandatory quarantine to enter the country.

 

Roll out a vaccination program 

 

According to the recent showcase by the Department of Disease Control (DDC), Thailand is all set to implement the Covid-19 vaccination program by mid of this year i.e. May 2021 [4]. 

“Let’s say that by 2021 we would expect around a maximum of 50 percent of the population to be vaccinated,” Dr. Nakorn said. “Meaning that we need to . . . secure more doses of the vaccine. [5]” 

With a pledge to vaccinate up to half of its population by 2021 and nearly 70 percent by 2022, the country is trying hard to produce covid 19 vaccines with other producers like Russia, India, and China to procure more and more doses to achieve “herd immunity” against the disease. Until now, Thailand has developed 20 inoculations against the disease.

Recently, the team at Prince of Songkhla University, headed by Assistant Professor – Thirakamol Pengsakul, in the south of Thailand, has crafted a new Covid-19 test kit which has proven to detect antibodies in the blood within 15 minutes with 99% accuracy.

Furthermore, the country has joined hands with many suppliers, recently with AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford for a Bt6-billion deal to buy 26 million doses to immunize 13 million people.

How is this country restarting tourism?

Corona Pandemic has reordered economies in dramatic ways. More than a health threat it has come out as a prime financial crisis for every industry and economies. After a significant period of dormancy due to the raging pandemic, Thailand is battling hard to gear up its tourism industry back to normalcy.

With a set of tightening travel rules & restrictions, Thailand on 30 December 2020, has rolled out a new set of domestic travel rules to invite travelers across the world.

While the country is facing a sharp spike in the number of coronavirus cases with capital Bangkok alongside other virus-hit provinces still under lockdown, the country has introduced some travel bubbles with easy quarantine requirements to attract tourists from 56 countries.

 

Prerequisite to Enter

  • With an exclusively crafted Visa Exemption Scheme, the country is allowing Passport holders from 56 countries to enjoy tourism without a visa for a day not exceeding 45. However, the rules may vary from country to country and are subject to Thailand’s jurisdiction. [6]
  • Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the local Thai embassy or consulate.
  • A Fit to Fly Certificate
  • Proof of COVID-19 health insurance cover of at least US $100,000
  • Thailand’s 14-day mandatory quarantine
  • Proof of negative PCR test.

 

Proof of vaccination

The CDC and WHO has aligned a series of vaccinations besides corona that travelers must go through for Thailand, that covers [7]:

  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria & pertussis)
  • Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Yellow fever
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella (MMR)
  • Chickenpox
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza

 

Border security

The government of Thailand has revised its policy in regards to border sealing. The borders are fortified with thermal checkpoints to detect people with temperature. Apart from this, the Govt. is following the below guidelines to allow people on its land if he or she meets all prerequisites set by the govt.

 

Foreigner Coming to Thailand

  • Health Certificate (no sickness in the past 14 days) written in English or Thai
  • Undetectable COVID-19 laboratory result issued within 72 hours prior to flight.
  • Health insurance document with coverage in Thailand of at least 100,000 USD.

 

Foreigner transiting via airports in Thailand

  • Health Certificate (no sickness in the past 14 days) written in English or Thai
  • Undetectable COVID-19 laboratory result issued within 72 hours prior to flight.

Thai Nationals Returning to Thailand

  • Certifying Letter from Royal Thai Embassy
  • Address in Form T8 ( in accordance with the Communicable Diseases Act. B.E 2558(2015) )
  • Isolation, quarantine, under observation, as per rules

 

Quarantine policy  

  • 14 days Isolation/quarantine in a state-approved quarantine hotel.
  • Installation of mobile tracing application.

 

Final Wrap Up

 Thailand is fully fortified to regain its excellent position in the tourism industry to boom after the epidemic. If you’re making up your mind about Thailand, this post can help fix most of your doubts regarding travel and corona vaccination for a happy and safe vocation.

 

References:

[1]https://www.who.int/csr/don/14-january-2020-novel-coronavirus-thailand-ex-china/en/

[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Thailand#:~:text=In%202016%2C%20Thailand%20had%2032.6,visiting%20Thailand%20exceeded%2035%20million.

[3] https://www.statista.com/topics/6845/tourism-industry-in-thailand/

[4]https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30399048

[5]https://thefinanceinfo.com/2020/12/20/thailand-to-vaccinate-half-of-its-population-in-2021/

[6]https://thaiembdc.org/2020/07/23/faq-for-non-thais-wishing-to-enter-thailand-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

[7]https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/thailand/traveler/packing-list