Three schemes set to welcome visitors
Thailand's reopening will introduce three entry schemes for international tourists, while the list of countries eligible for quarantine-free entry without area restrictions is expected to be released on Friday.
The first scheme, called "Test & Go", will come with minimal requirements for inoculated tourists from low-risk countries who also have a high economic impact on Thai tourism, said Yuthasak Supasorn, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor.
"The list of eligible countries should be announced today as the standard operating procedures have just been finalised and are waiting for official approval. All countries that are important markets for our industry are expected to be included on this list," he said.
Under the first scheme, tourists must show a vaccine certificate that shows complete doses of a vaccine type approved by the World Health Organisation administered at least 14 days before arrival, a negative RT-PCR result obtained no more than 72 hours before arrival and Covid-19 insurance. Covid-19 insurance coverage has been reduced from US$100,000 to $50,000.
Travellers can arrive at any international airport in Thailand and must undergo another RT-PCR test which would have been pre-booked along with the first night in an SHA Plus hotel, as hotels will help manage the test procedure for their guests.
While waiting for the result, guests must stay in a hotel within a two-hour drive from the airport.
For instance, if tourists enter via Suvarnabhumi airport, they can choose an SHA Plus hotel in Bangkok or go directly to Pattaya. For destinations further away, they need to stay in Bangkok or a nearby province before continuing with their trips.
After getting negative results, they can continue their journey to anywhere in the country without restriction and do not have to undergo a second test.
The second scheme named "Living in Blue Zone" is reserved for inoculated tourists from other countries apart from the list.
Travellers don't have to be kept in quarantine but can travel within 17 Blue Zone provinces during first seven days and must take the second test on day six or day seven with an antigen test kit, which is less expensive than RT-PCR.
According to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, the Blue Zone will be expanded to 33 provinces from December, before increasing to 45 provinces from January 2022.
Blue Zone provinces are designated areas that are ready to welcome international tourists and completed mass vaccination of at least 70%.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated tourists still can visit the kingdom under the third scheme, named "Happy Quarantine", under which they must stay in alternative quarantine facilities for 10 days.
The Foreign Ministry posted the list of 46 countries/territories countries eligible for quarantine-free entry without area restrictions.