To catch you up, it’s fairly standard now, just with a bit more red tape than some other countries. And with testing requirements dropped for fully vaccinated visitors, it’s now easier to enter than the United States.
As of June 1st, Thailand has introduced a speedier way of getting approved for entry into the country — and it’s great news for anyone hoping to book soon and jet off even sooner.
Thailand Speeds Up Thailand Pass
There’s two things keeping most fully vaccinated travelers from hopping on a plane to Thailand. One, is proof of at least $10,000 in medical coverage for the trip. The second is is the ‘Thailand Pass’.
The ‘Thailand Pass’ is basically an application system for non-Thai visitors to enter the country. Prospective visitors upload their proof of insurance and their proof of health coverage (which has a lower $10,000 requirement now) and wait for approval.
Without approval, there’s no entry. Historically, it’s taken forever, too. Wait times were completely unpredictable and error messages while submitting forms were the norm.
As of the 1st of June, that all seems to have changed. Submissions for a Thailand Pass are typically being returned within minutes, not days or weeks. If you have aspirations of a last minute trip, these are now totally possible again, for the first time in years.
Simpler Steps And A New Visitor Fee
Thailand has floated plans to scrap the Thailand Pass entirely, but those plans have not been realized. Similar ideas about ending travel health coverage requirements have also been proposed.
If Thailand would drop the ‘Thailand Pass’ and the coverage requirement, entry for fully vaccinated visitors would be as simple as booking a flight. For any unvaccinated visitors, it would simply require a test.
One thing that could make the health coverage requirement go away would be the introduction of Thailand’s long expected new visitor surcharge.
Thailand currently expects these visitor fees to be introduced sometime between August and September of 2022, and the 300THB fee — circa $8.50 — will cover health concerns. Well, so they say.
Thailand Trips Are Getting Easier
With testing requirements removed and fast approvals for the Thailand Pass, a trip to Thailand is easier now than it’s been in years. Stiff competition from Southeast Asian neighbors like Laos, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia are slashing entry restrictions by the day.
If you’ve got a last minute trip, or want to give in to the spontaneous urge of a mega getaway, you can do that now.
Thailand is incredible from North to South and values for hotels, food and tours remain staggeringly good as the country reopens. You can’t say that in Europe right now!