Thailand’s journey to testing free travel has been a bit like the Harry Potter book series. It’s been a long and winding road, with great moments, tragedies and a point where your eyes hurt from reading. Actually, it might be more like Lord of The Rings, where you wonder if it will ever end.
Anyway, after a series of twisting turns, Thailand shocked the travel world in March by proclaiming plans for a logical and timely framework to drop all Covid-19 travel testing, as situations improved. Like many things in Thailand, few who read the news believed it would actually follow schedule.
But today, Thailand is proclaiming officially, that from May 1st, all mandatory Covid-19 testing for travel to Thailand will be dropped for fully vaccinated visitors.
This is a huge step change, and one that joins with plans to scrap cumbersome forms, too. With so much excitement to get back to Southeast Asia, here’s what you need to know about Thailand’s latest travel changes.
Thailand Scraps Covid-19 Testing For Travel
If you’re a fully vaccinated visitor, Thailand will no longer require Covid-19 tests before travel, or after arrival into the country, from May 1st, 2022 onward. All visitors will still need proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated visitors must still quarantine and take tests.
Instead of mandatory testing for vaccinated arrivals, travelers will be encouraged to self administer an antigen test after arrival, but are not obligated to do so. Yep, you will get a test, but you are not obligated to take it. So, where to? Krabi, Chiang Mai, Phi-Phi?
There are two key remaining steps: the Thailand Pass and health insurance. All visitors must still apply for entry in advance of travel, via the Thailand Pass. The pass process is much easier now than it was before.
For now, the country is holding onto requirements to obtain at least $10,000 in travel insurance coverage. The travel insurance should have Covid-19 as a covered item. This lowered coverage amount will significantly reduce the cost of obtaining the insurance.
The main good news is that if you book a trip and fill out the forms, you’re going, and your trip should be stress free on arrival. There’s no fear of a false positive abroad, or being forced into quarantine.
More To Come From Thailand?
In March, Thailand dropped pre-departure testing and proposed a move to antigen testing to replace RT-PCR tests from May. After consideration, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha went a step further, removing the mandatory testing requirement entirely.
In those same March plans, Thailand proposed ending all remaining Covid-19 related travel restrictions, including the Thailand Pass and other bureaucratic measures from June 1st, 2022 onward. By all indications, that’s likely to be on track. It should be.
If you’re planning to travel to Thailand after June 1st, you may experience travel of old. It’s finally time to start booking trips.