Vaccinated travelers may soon be in luck when traveling to Thailand as the island is looking to ease its strict travel rules. The shift will allow vaccinated tourists to enter without being subject to pre-departure testing.
On March 18, Thailand’s main Covid task force will regroup to discuss pandemic regulations and border management. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the Permanent Secretary of Public Health, who broke the news also shared that the ministry may consider lowering the minimum coverage for mandatory medical insurance.
While the change in policy is currently being discussed, it will allow travelers to skip pre-departure testing and enjoy less-bureaucratic visits sooner than expected. It will also make travel more affordable for visitors to purchase travel insurance.
Currently, the process in place for travelers to enter follows one of three avenues: Test and Go, SandBox Program and the Alternative Quarantine Program. After months of closure, Thailand has been slowly relaxing stringent rules and hoping to lessen restrictions on travelers entering the country.
The government placed harsh restrictions on travelers on the onset of Covid as well as in late December of 2021 out of fear of the spread of the Omicron variant. With restrictions easing, the struggling tourism industry may now scrap pre-departure PCR tests as a requirement for entry.
The current war in Europe has put stress on the tourism industry as the Thai Chamber of Commerce reported that Russian arrivals are 50% below the expected 500,000 this year. Furthermore, a wave of flights from other countries such as the United States and Canada have been canceled due to the ongoing conflict.
More news is expected in the coming days as as the government is yet to confirm official changes.