More good news from Thailand as the country progressively shifts towards pre-COVID travel, with confirmation today that the Centre of COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved plans to simplify the Thailand Pass registration process from 1st June 2022, including instant approval for applicants.
Furthermore, the system will only be required for foreign nationals entering from that date, with Thai citizens no longer requiring a QR code approval to return home.
Hopefully non-Thai nationals will also benefit from this relaxation by July or so.
Here’s a summary of the changes from 1st June 2022, confirmed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
- Thai citizens will no longer be required to apply for a Thailand Pass.
- Vaccinated foreign nationals will still need to apply, but will only need to provide:
- Vaccination certificate
- Passport details
- Evidence of a US$10,000+ travel insurance policy
- Thailand Pass will automatically issue a QR code immediately on completion of application.
- Vaccinated travellers will undergo entry screening, then will then be free to travel across the country.
Applications for the Thailand Pass are free of charge. You can apply up to 60 days in advance of your trip and the approval QR code is valid for a 15-day window, comprising your intended date of entry +/- 7 days either side, without the need to upload new supporting documents.
The process is a little quirky, forcing you to upload everything as a JPG image file, while almost every document you need to show is probably a PDF, but you’ll get there in the end!
The instant Thailand Pass QR code is a big benefit here, allowing travellers to make last minute travel plans even on the day of departure for an impromptu trip or business meeting, which hasn’t been possible since pre-pandemic times.
Currently, Thailand Pass application results take up to 48 hours.
As usual, the latest change in process is not 100% official until it is included in Thailand’s Royal Gazette, a formal legal process which could be completed in the coming days, or at the latest just a few days before the new rules officially go into effect on 1st June.
Process from 1st June 2022 (Singapore – Thailand)
Here’s how the process for quarantine-free and test-free travel from Singapore to Thailand will look for fully vaccinated travellers arriving from 1st June 2022 onwards.
- Thai citizens and foreign travellers arriving from all countries.
- Fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before departure, if aged 18 or over.
- Children aged under 18 can travel with fully vaccinated parents even if they are not fully vaccinated.
- Children aged 12-17 travelling to Thailand unaccompanied (without parents) must have received at least 1 dose of an approved vaccine.
- Have an insurance policy with a coverage of no less than US$10,000 (not required for Thai citizens).
- Apply for a Thailand Pass, which will be approved instantly (not required for Thai citizens).
- An ART test is recommended only if you have COVID-19 symptoms during your trip.
What about unvaccinated travellers?
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers aged 12 or over can also apply for a Thailand Pass, by uploading proof of a negative PCR or ART test administered by a medical professional within 72 hours of departure instead of a vaccination certificate from 1st June 2022.
These travellers will also be free to travel across the country, with no quarantine requirements, having proven their negative pre-departure COVID-19 status.
You can refer to our continually updated list of the cheapest pre-departure options available in Singapore if you require a PDT to travel to Thailand.
This will be the first time unvaccinated travellers have been able to travel to Thailand without quarantine since the onset of the pandemic.
Thailand’s CCSA has also given the green light to pubs, bars and karaoke venues in its “Blue”, “Green” and “Sandbox” zones to reopen until midnight from 1st June 2022, with certain restrictions in place.
Service providers must be fully vaccinated, boosted and take regular COVID-19 tests as a safeguard measure.
This sector of the entertainment industry is seen as a key draw for many of the country’s 40 million tourists arriving annually pre-pandemic.
Obviously we are waiting for the day the Thailand Pass becomes a thing of the past for visitors to the popular country, but this first step removing the form for citizens and making approval instant for foreigners is a big shift towards completely pre-COVID travel to the likes of Bangkok and Phuket.
The pass is already good for a 15-day arrival window, meaning there should certainly be plenty of flexibility, and this instant approval is great even for a last minute dash to Bangkok or Phuket for the weekend.
With pre-departure PCR testing, on-arrival PCR testing, and a Day 5 ART test already scrapped over recent months, Thailand has come a long way towards normalcy for travellers, so let’s hope that by July the Thailand Pass system itself is gone altogether, for trips just like the good old days.
(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)