Since 1st November, Thai authorities allow foreign tourists to visit Thailand under the Test & Go (Exemption from Quarantine), Sandbox and Alternative Quarantine programs. Entry rules of these programs have been adjusted with easier requirements for arrivals from 16 December 2021.
According to the plan of Thailand Reopening, the phase 2 was scheduled to start between 1-31 December 2021 and should be implemented from 16 December 2021. Starting from this date, changes in guidelines for travelers entering Thailand are planned that should make it easier and cheaper to travel to Thailand.
Even if plans to make entry rules easier from 16 December 2021 have been pre-approved by the respective committee and the representative of Thai government presented them on 26 November 2021, the officially confirmed new regulations don't include most of previously proposed changes such as using ATK test instead of RT-PCR and shortening of Sandbox duration.
The plan of easing entry regulations has been affected by the current pandemic situation in the world. The new COVID-19 variant, known as Omicron, is raising concerns worldwide and due to it travelers from 8 African countries has just been banned from entering Thailand.
Latest update 30 November 2021 The Prime Minister confirmed that RT-PCR testing will still be in place to prevent Omicron strains for Test & Go travelers from 63 countries/areas eligible for quarantine exemptions!
Update of Entry Rules from 16 December 2021
Test & Go Scheme
The change to an ATK method of testing on arrival from 16 December 2021 has been cancelled
Vaccinated people entering Thailand from low-risk countries as part of the Test & Go program without quarantine have to take a RT-PCR test upon arrival. Therefore booking of SHA+ hotel or Alternative Quarantine (AQ) hotel for an overnight stay, test and transportation (1-night Test & Go package) is still necessary.
Vaccinated people entering Thailand from low-risk countries as part of the Test & Go program without quarantine will only have to take an ATK test by the designated hospital and not a RT-PCR test upon arrival. However, it is mentioned that you will still be required to book transport from the airport to the checkpoints and an ATK test.
RT-PCR test result is expected within 24 hours, this may vary depending on your arrival time. As getting the ATK test result takes much less time, you won't need to wait in the hotel room for 1 day. Therefore, the previous booking of SHA+ hotel or Alternative Quarantine (AQ) hotel for an overnight stay (1-night Test & Go package) will no longer be necessary. After receiving a negative ATK test result, you will be allowed to freely continue your journey to other parts of Thailand.
Test & Go travelers aged 18 years and over must have completed vaccinations at least 14 days prior to travel and have negative RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours before departure. Whereas children under 6 years old will no longer need RT-PCR test before departure.
Find more details about Thailand entry rules for children from 16 December 2021.
Vaccinated people arriving as part of the Sandbox program to the Blue Zone area from unlisted countries still need to book a SHA Plus hotel room for 7 days as the proposal of shortening Sandbox to 5 days from 16 December 2021 wasn't confirmed. The proof of payment of SHA Plus accommodation in the Sandbox area for 7 days is necessary as previously.
You can enter Thailand under Sandbox program via popular tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Surat Thani (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao) or Koh Samui.
Under Sandbox program there are 2 tests: the first test will be RT-PCR test and the second ATK test on day 4-5. You can travel freely within the permitted Sandbox areas for the duration of 5 days if the RT-PCR test conducted on your day of arrival is negative.
Alternative Quarantine Scheme
Travelers who have not been vaccinated or partially vaccinated are required to be in quarantine at Alternative Quarantine (AQ) hotels before being allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand.
However, the quarantine period will be adjusted as follows:
- If the traveler is fully vaccinated, 7-day quarantine
- If the traveler is not vaccinated, 10-day quarantine
- If entering Thailand illegally, 14-day quarantine
Traveler who needs to quarantine must have proof of payment at quarantine facilities (AQ hotels) for required number of nights.
Testing will continue to use the RT-PCR method on arrival (Day 0-1), while the second testing will be done on Day 6-7, or Day 8-9, or Day 12-13, depending on the length of the quarantine period.
What will not change?
Foreigners need to provide a health insurance with a minimum treatment coverage of 50,000 USD or equivalent in any other currencies for the whole period of stay in Thailand (Requirement for Non-Thai passport holders only).
All travelers need to register for the Thailand Pass online and obtain the Thailand Pass QR code for entering Thailand. It is recommended to register for the Thailand Pass at least 7 working days in advance for the concerned authorities in Thailand to consider and approve the Thailand Pass.
NOTE! If you travel to Thailand after 15 December 2021, you have to wait until the 1st of December to register for the Thailand Pass because the new entry regulations should be adjusted by then.
Covid-19 test before departure
Traveler must provide medical certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected by the test using RT-PCR method, which has been certified or issued no more than 72 hours before departure to the officers at the airport, except of Thai nationals arriving in Thailand through Alternative Quarantine.