The reopening of leisure travel to Thailand for tourist travellers has been a bumpy road over the 14 months or so since the first visitors were welcomed quarantine-free on initial post-COVID tourism schemes, but the country is now set to become the latest in the region to remove all its pandemic-related border restrictions.
This will take effect in October 2022, as the country’s Centre of COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) agreed yesterday that Thailand will officially end its COVID-19 Emergency Decree on 30th September 2022.
The ruling, which has been in place since 25th March 2020 and has been renewed no fewer than 19 times, is no longer needed as the country reclassifies COVID-19 from being “a dangerous communicable disease” to “a communicable disease under surveillance”.
This will effectively downgrade the virus to the same category as influenza. In other words, Thailand will now be “living with COVID”.
What does it mean for travellers?
Currently travellers heading to Thailand must have either a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure, or as an alternative a negative COVID-19 antigen (ART) or PCR test result, issued at most 72 hours before departure.
The cancellation of the Emergency Decree means that from 1st October 2022, travellers will no longer have to show either a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test in order to travel to Thailand, restoring the process to pre-pandemic norms.
This closes a long and painful chapter for Thailand’s border restrictions over the last two years, which have had a significant impact on tourism and at one point involved lengthy online applications and carrying a plethora of extra paperwork with you on your journey.