Entering Thailand As A Tourist – Feb 2022

Up to date information on restrictions

by stephmylifetravel

Beautiful Thailand is open to visitors, but ever-changing restrictions have left many travellers too confused to book their trip. We have spent the past 60 days travelling through the country, and can confirm that it is a great time to visit.  Crowds are lower, beaches are cleaner, and the accommodation options for budget travellers are incredible.

Here is a breakdown of current restrictions to help you plan your time in Thailand.

Let’s get into it!

Current Entry Rules

At the moment, you must obtain a Thailand Pass to enter the country.  This pass can be completed online, is free to apply for, and takes around 7 days to be approved. I recommend applying for your pass early, because when they do tighten restrictions, they tend to honor already granted Thai passes – so you’re less likely to be affected by future changes.  To apply for your pass, you must have your hotel and flight booked, and have your insurance purchased. You can click here to fill out your form (in English).

When you fill out the form, you will have three options for entering Thailand – depending on your vaccination status:

1. Test & Go

Fully vaccinated travelers from any country are allowed to enter Thailand without quarantine, once they undergo a PCR test on days 1 & 5 of the trip. This was previously limited to certain countries, but has been expanded to all countries.

Here are the requirements:

  • Provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure
  • Proof of full vaccination at least 14 days prior to the date of travel
  • Thailand Pass QR code (either digital or hard copy) – this will be needed to show to the airline and at immigration upon arrival
  • Health insurance with a minimum coverage of US$50,000 (Thai nationals are not required to provide proof of insurance coverage)
  • Pre-book and pay for two PCR tests for Day 1 and Day 5 in Thailand
  • Pre-book and pay for a stay at two SHA Extra Plus accommodation* (two separate nights for Day 1 and Day 5)
  • Prepayment for Day 1 needs to include: accommodation, RT-PCR test, prearranged transfer from the airport to the hotel
  • Day 1 test: On arrival in Thailand, travellers are required to undergo a RT-PCR test and need to wait in their hotel room for the test result. If negative, free to travel anywhere in Thailand .
  • Day 5 test: After going for the second RT-PCR test, travellers need to return to their hotel and wait in their room for the result of their second test. If negative, free to travel anywhere in Thailand.
  • Positive test cases are dealt with on a case by case basis and may require either hotel or hospital quarantine with expenses to be covered by the traveller’s insurance policy (make sure your insurance covers this).
  • Your SHA Extra Plus hotel will coordinate the payment and booking of the RT-PCR tests unless you are flying to Phuket. For arrivals to Phuket, the first test will be carried out at Phuket international airport and needs to be booked in advance via this official website:
    https://www.thailandpass.com/
  • Download and install the MorChana Covid-19 tracking app
  • Your passport needs at least 6 months validity

If you arrive in Thailand between the hours 00.01-18.00 this is regarded as Day 1. If you arrive during 18.01-midnight, the day after is Day 1.

 

2. Blue Sandbox

Fully vaccinated travelers from any country are allowed to enter Thailand without quarantine, once they undergo a PCR test on day 1 & 5 of the trip and stay in their chosen ‘sandbox region’. Travellers must take a PCR test on arrival and stay inside their hotel while they await the result. Once this result is received then they are free to leave the hotel and explore their area. Once they take a second PCR test on day 5 they are free to leave.

Previously, Test & Go was limited to certain countries and those who were not in the list had to do Blue Sandbox. However now that Test & Go is open to all countries, Blue Sandbox is just seen as a backup option if T&G is locked down again. You should apply for Test & Go.

Here are the requirements:

  • Provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure
  • Proof of full vaccination 14 days prior to the date of travel – the NHS Pass can be used for this
  • Thailand Pass QR code (either digital or hard copy) – this will be needed to show to the airline and at immigration upon arrival
  • Health insurance with a minimum coverage of US$50,000 (Thai nationals are not required to provide proof of insurance coverage)
  • Pre-book and pay for two PCR tests in Thailand*
  • Pre-book and pay for a seven-night stay at a SHA Extra Plus accommodation** at a Sandbox destination – this may include the PCR test
  • Download and install the MorChana Covid-19 tracking app
  • Your passport needs at least 6 months validity

 

3. Happy Quarantine

This is the only option for unvaccinated travellers.

For international travelers who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, they will be required to undergo the mandatory alternative quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel in Bangkok, Phuket, or Samui before they can travel to other parts of Thailand. The quarantine period depends on your mode of arrival in the country:

  • 10-day quarantine if you arrive by air and sea.
  • 14-day quarantine if you arrive overland.

Here are the requirements:

  • Provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure
  • Thailand Pass QR code (either digital or hard copy) – this will be needed to show to the airline and at immigration upon arrival
  • Health insurance with a minimum coverage of US$50,000 (Thai nationals are not required to provide proof of insurance coverage)
  • Pre-book and pay for two PCR tests in Thailand*
  • Pre-book and pay for your quarantine hotel, which must include
    • RT-PCR COVID-19 Test
    • Pre-arranged airport transfer
    • Accommodation for at least 10 or 14 nights
  • Download and install the MorChana Covid-19 tracking app
  • Your passport needs at least 6 months validity

You can find a list of Happy Quarantine hotels here.

What’s the visa situation in Thailand?

Unlike many other countries, the visa situation is unchanged at the moment. Thailand continue to offer a Visa On Arrival which allows you 30 days in the country. You do not need to apply for this online, and can simply go through immigration to get your 30 day stamp.

If you would like to stay in the country for longer, you have two options:

  • You can apply online for a 60 day visa before you go (this requires an exit flight)
  • You can enter on a 30 day visa and extend this for 30 or 60 days (this is the option we chose)

To extend your visa, you can visit the nearest immigration office to where you are staying – you can use Google Maps to find this or ask at your hotel. Bring the following with you:

  • A passport photo
  • 1,600 baht
  • Proof of an exit flight (for the 60 day extension only)
  • Application Form for Extension of Temporary Stay in the Kingdom – Form TM.7.
  • Your original passport which is valid for at least six more months. Keep in mind that the visa extension will be issued depending on the validity of your visa, but usually no more than one year. If your visa is valid for less than a year, your Thai Visa Extension will also be issued for less than one year.
  • Photocopies* of the relevant pages on your passport:
    • The personal information page, showing your picture, name, expiry/issue date, etc.
    • The page showing your Non-Immigrant Visa
    • Any pages showing previous Thailand Visa Extensions (if applicable)
    • The page showing the latest entry stamp in Thailand
  • A photocopy of your Departure Card TM.6

You can download and fill out the application form before you go, but they will have forms in the immigration office which you can fill out. If you cannot access a printer to copy your passport, often they will create copies for you for 6baht or direct you to a local copy shop. Your extension should take from 20 minutes to 2 hours to process, and you can stay in the country longer.

Where can I fly to in Thailand?

Thailand currently has six international airports, in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phuket and Ko Samui.

  • For Test & Go, you can fly into any aiport
  • For Sandbox, you can fly into Phuket or Ko Samui. You can only fly to Bangkok International airport if you transit on a sealed flight for Ko Samui, or fly to Samui International airport.
  • For Happy Quarantine, you can enter via all points of entry (air/land/water).

 

What happens if someone on my flight tests positive

Under the new travel rules, it’s only an issue if a person sitting directly next to you (not in front or behind) tests positive on arrival.

What if I test positive during my trip?

The Tourist Authority of Thailand states:

Travellers whose test result returns as positive will be referred for appropriate medical treatment in accordance with Thailand’s Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558 (2015). The expenses must be covered by the required insurance for foreign travellers, or national healthcare coverage for Thais and eligible foreign expatriates.

Pending on their conditions, they may be medically advised to receive treatment in either hospital hotel isolation or community isolation.

During receiving the medical treatment – at least 10 days, they must remain in their accommodation only. They should not leave their accommodation unless utmost necessary, and must notify the Communicable Disease Control officer in-charge.
After having recovered from Covid-19, they will receive a medical certificate of recovery.

How to book your flight to Thailand

SkyScanner is the best place to find flights to Thailand.

If you have any stopovers on your journey, make sure you check if they are ‘self-transfer’ or not. Self transfer flights involve collecting your baggage upon landing in a connecting country, then going through immigration, checking in again and going back through immigration a second time. Some countries may not allow you to do this, and it’s not something SkyScanner checks for you – so they may well recommend a self-transfer flight that you can’t actually take. So always check this – SkyScanner will mark the transfer very clearly if it is self-transfer.

How to book your hotel

 

Recommendations for your trip to Thailand

Here are some other posts I have written about Thailand to help you to plan your trip!

And if you would like help planning your trip, I create custom travel itineraries for any type of trip! Click here for the details.

I hope this helped you with planning your trip to Thailand! If you have any questions or would like to request posts on any other topic then leave your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Happy travelling!
Steph
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1 comment

Freddy February 21, 2022 - 9:48 pm

Thank you for sharing, Steph. I find your post very useful.

Reply

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