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Thailand has reopened and the Department of Consular Affairs and the Tourism Authority of Thailand have clarified the laws regulating foreign arrivals.
According to Naruechai Ninnart, head of the Department of Consular Affairs' Protection of Thai Nationals Abroad Division, travellers will be divided into three categories.
The first are travellers who have been properly immunized and come from 46 different nations (www.thaiembassy.com). They must spend one night at a SHA+ approved hotel or an alternative quarantine hotel for an RT-PCR test and wait for the results.
"If the outcome is negative, they may go wherever in Thailand," Mr Naruechai added.
The second category consists of fully vaccinated travellers from countries that are not on the 46-country list. They must spend seven nights at SHA+hotels in a "sandbox" region, he added.
Starting November 1, the sandbox system will be extended from Phuket to include 17 provinces, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Krabi. (Some provinces have districts that are restricted.)
"After spending seven nights in the sandbox region, guests may go anyplace in Thailand if they pass the second Covid-19 exam [on Day 6 or 7]," he stated.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers make up the third category. For the next ten nights, they must stay in other quarantine motels. They may go to other parts of Thailand if they pass the second Covid-19 test on Day 8 or 9.
Foreign visitors must apply for a Thailand Pass before coming, which will be implemented on November 1 at 9 a.m. (local time) to replace the Certificate of Entry (CoE). Visitors must submit relevant documentation, such as a vaccination certificate and medical insurance with a minimum coverage of US$50,000, to a portal site (https://tp.consular.go.th) (about 1.6 million baht).
"Thailand Pass will be a faster verification procedure than CoE," Mr Naruechai added, "but it will still take one to seven days before the Thailand Pass QR code can be provided to applicants."
If vaccination certification is done digitally, the clearance procedure will be much faster, he claims.
Travellers who plan to fly to Thailand on November 1 or until November 7 must still apply for a CoE.
An immunization certificate is not necessary for children under the age of 12 travelling with their parents. Mr Naruechai said that if the parents are properly vaccinated and have a certificate, the certificate also protects their children.
An immunization certificate and medical insurance are necessary for children above the age of 12.
Only Thai citizens are now exempt from having medical insurance since their medical expenses are paid by the National Health Security Office or the Social Security Office.
Mr Naurechai stated, "We will collaborate with the Ministry of Public Health and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration [CCSA] to extend the exemption to foreign citizens who have medical insurance in Thailand."
Foreign travellers must ensure that their insurance policy includes more than just Covid-19 health coverage. Other types of illness, as well as hospitalization costs, should be covered.
The CCSA will meet today to debate the topic of foreign residents' health insurance exemption. He expects it to go into effect before November 1st.
Before travelling to Thailand, fully vaccinated tourists from the 46 nations mentioned must have spent at least 21 days in one or more of those countries.
They may spend ten days in the United States, ten days in France, and one day in Hong Kong, for example. After 21 days, they will be able to go to Thailand, according to Mr Naruechai.
Fully vaccinated Thais and foreign citizens who visit one of the 46 nations for a shorter amount of time, such as a three-day conference, are not needed to stay in the country for at least 21 days.
According to him, the exemption would not apply to Thais or foreign residents who go to nations not on the list of 46 eligible countries.
Passengers transiting through countries not on the list who do not leave the airport may continue their travel to Thailand if the transit time is less than 12 hours and they do not leave the airport.
Visitors may enter Thailand via six international airports in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Samui, and Rayong during the first phase (U-Tapao airport). Only charter planes are allowed to land at Buri Ram Airport.
Visitors must present a Department of Disease Control official and an Immigration officer a negative RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours before travelling, together with the Thailand Pass QR code.
They must also download the Mor Chana application and register with it. While in Thailand, they will be required to use the app to assess their health on a regular basis.
They must use SHA+ cars from the airport to the hotel rather than a regular taxi.
"They must go from the airport to the hotel through a sealed road," Mr Naurechai said.
The RT-PCR test will be provided by the hotel in collaboration with a hospital.
"Price limitations for RT-PCR testing will be published," he stated, "so that the service charge will be comparable to that in other areas of the nation."
Thai and international residents who are fully vaccinated are not permitted to quarantine in their homes for the first night in Thailand. They must remain at a hotel until the RT-PCR test results are received.
When the test results are negative, they are free to depart the hotel. They will be sent to a hospital or a quarantined hotel if the test is positive, according to Mr Naurechai.