Thailand Is Making It Easier for Vaccinated Tourists to Visit — Here's How
Thailand will lift all pre-arrival testing requirements for vaccinated travelers next month, the latest country to ease pandemic-era restrictions.
The country will eliminate the pre-travel PCR test requirement for vaccinated visitors on April 1, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, but will still require post-arrival testing and keep other measures in place. Currently, travelers must be vaccinated and show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel.
The decision to ease protocols comes as Thailand "prepares a four-phase plan to downgrade the COVID-19 pandemic to an endemic disease," according to the tourism authority.
While the country is lifting its pre-arrival test, international visitors wishing to skip quarantine by participating in Thailand's "TEST & GO" program will still be required to undergo a PCR test upon arrival as well as take an antigen self-test on day 5 of their trip.
Travelers must currently also have a prepaid reservation for one night at a government-approved hotel as well as hold an insurance policy with coverage of at least $20,000, according to the tourism authority.
Thailand first started welcoming international tourists quarantine-free as part of its Phuket Sandbox program in July 2021, but required them to remain on the island. In November, Thailand then allowed tourists to visit the rest of the country quarantine-free before tightening border restrictions again in December amid the emergence of the omicron variant.
In February, the country once again brought back its "Test & Go Thailand Pass" program, allowing vaccinated international visitors to travel to any part of the country and skip quarantine.
While Thailand is easing restrictions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns Americans against going there as there is currently a "very high" rate of COVID-19 transmission, according to the agency. Thailand is currently seeing a peak high of new cases with more than 24,000 new infections reported on average each day, according to Reuters.
The country has vaccinated about 71.8% of its population, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.
Thailand is the latest destination to ease pandemic-related border restrictions. Last month, for example, Iceland dropped all border restrictions, which was followed by Ireland and Aruba. And next month, Canada will also drop pre-arrival testing for vaccinated travelers.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.