a large garden with Doi Inthanon and a bridge

Thailand may let you in quarantine free, if you’ve been fully vaccinated.

Want a good piece of news to cling onto? With every day, scientists and virologists seem more and more assured that once vaccinated, people are unlikely or entirely unable to spread covid-19. If they don’t get it, they can’t spread it – or something like that. The growing consensus is huge news for travel, as many countries seek to make notable exceptions to each and every policy in place, if you’ve been vaccinated.

Thailand Considers Dropping Quarantine For Vaccinated Travelers

According to the Financial Times, a massive campaign is underway in Thailand urging the government to drop quarantine requirements for all travelers, regardless of origin, with proof of receiving both vaccination jabs, and at least two weeks since the second dose was issued.

In the last week, the Seychelles, the United States and a variety of countries issued similar notable exceptions to entry rules, or dropped quarantine for anyone with proof of vaccination. Hawaii is independently reviewing an identical move.

That travel trend is expected to balloon in the coming weeks, as more conclusive studies are released, prompting border authorities to reconsider current restrictions.

Thailand Finding Its Way Back Into Travel?

Thailand’s approach to bringing back its vital tourism sector has been amusingly “off” at times, and borderline obscure at others.

But more recent developments have been positive, with the relaxing of requirements needed to enter the country, and visa free arrivals from most countries including the United States, with the caveat of a strict, mandatory 14 day quarantine in a monitored hotel, at your own expense.

An elimination of quarantine for travelers with conclusive proof of vaccination would be a significant step in safely rebooting travel demand to Thailand, and provide a safe way to dig out of the incredible hole the tourism sector finds itself in.

Tourism accounts for circa 22% of GDP, and millions of jobs in Thailand.

Thailand expects much stronger vaccination efforts for locals by March, which combined with allowing in more vaccinated travelers would be a welcomed lift for many struggling businesses, particularly on Thailand’s famous islands including Koh Samui and Phi Phi, which have been among the hardest hit.

It’s expected that if the measure is approved, vaccinated travelers would still be asked to provide a negative covid-19 test prior to travel. Tanes Petsuwan, Thailand’s Deputy Governor of Tourism responded to the appeal by travel industry groups with positive tone, stating…

“I believe they’re (Thai Government) considering it very carefully. It’s a positive sign”.

Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor of Tourism
boats in the water with a group of boats

Vaccines The Key For Travel

Vaccines aren’t a one stop solution, but the science is increasingly promising that they will make the most significant impact in restoring international movement and the vital tourism it brings globally.

While it initially appeared like it could be years before you’d be able to visit Thailand again with ease, vaccines may soon allow that within mere months. If vaccines succeed in reducing overall death figures, that could trickle down to those without vaccination, who can prove they’re not currently infected as well.

The first half of 2021 remains a minefield for travel, but the second half still looks to be incredibly promising. It’s hard to think of a much better destination to reconnect with than Thailand.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Have you seen any indication of what could constitute as “proof of vaccine”? I know my parents were given a handwritten card with a date & batch number on it, but I’m doubtful that it would be accepted by immigration on arrival.

    1. This is a fundamental issue everyone is experiencing. I’d imagine, or at least (hope) that doctors records could be retroactively converted into proof of vaccination, and keeping that card may be needed to square with doctor records etc.

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