thailand reopening borders

Thailand Has Received More Than 300K Tourists Since Scrapping “Test & Go” Scheme

Fully vaccinated travelers entering Thailand under its Test & Go scheme will only need to undergo an RT-PCR test upon arrival instead of two, and one night at a government-approved hotel while awaiting the results.

All non-Thai arrivals need to buy health insurance that covers COVID-19.

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Thailand Reopening – Latest Updates

May 12 – Thailand has received more than 300,000 tourists after scrapping “Test & Go” on May 1.

Fully vaccinated tourists will be able to enter the country with a Thailand Pass and bypass quarantine beginning May 1. RT-PCR Tests are not required before or upon entry.

Those who are not fully vaccinated may still enter Thailand under the Alternative Quarantine scheme or be exempt from quarantine if they can present a Covid-19 RT-PCR test result issued no more than 72 hours before departure.

“After we scrapped the Test & Go scheme on May 1, more than 300,000 tourists entered the country within a week and this is expected to rise between May and September.” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said Wednesday

All countries should know that “Thailand has fully reopened for tourism, business, conferences, medical services, and so on,” he added.

COVID-19 situation in Thailand

As of May 12, the country has reported 4,353,237 and 29,314 deaths.

Entry requirements

Phuket, Thailand

As of today, in order to be granted access to the country travelers must,

  • Present proof of vaccination (only WHO-approved vaccines are valid) (to reduce quarantine) – Unvaccinated travelers are currently allowed too.
  • Purchase health insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment up until USD $100.000
  • Show proof of a negative PCR test result taken no longer than 72 hour prior to departure.
  • A 7 to 10 sort of quarantine, if traveling through Thailand’s “Sandbox” scheme.

Notice that different conditions apply depending on the travelers’ destination. Consult with the local government about the specific restrictions. 

Is Thailand open for American tourists? 

Thailand is indeed open to all American business visa holders. For further information on requirements for U.S. citizens to enter the country, visitors should consult the Royal Thai Embassy’s website or go to the Thai embassy in Washington D.C.

Additionally, Thailand is open to all tourists through its “Sandbox” travel sheme.

Impact of COVID-19 in Thailand


While Thailand is a success story when it comes to battling the virus, its economy has greatly suffered due to the pandemic.

Prior to Covid-19, Bangkok was the world’s top tourist destination among cities. In April, all incoming flights were banned. With tourism halted, it is estimated that up to 60% of hospitality-related businesses would close by year-end.

The IMF estimated that the economy as a whole will shrink by about 8.5% and over 8 million Thais would lose their livelihood.

Why visit Thailand?


For those not into crowds, Thailand offers beautiful natural spaces. With 1,500 miles of coastline, there are beautiful beaches and great diving to be found here.

For those who come for its history and culture. There are ruins dating to the ancient Siamese kingdom, and over 40,000 temples to explore.

One main attraction is the nightlife in places like Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya, ranked as the best places for LGBTQ tourists. 

Be sure to check some luxury resorts for reopening deals!

Thailand is a top tourist destination. The country offers so much, from bustling nightlife to serene beaches and flavorful foods rich with spices.

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

Thailand reopening tourism: Update Archives

April 19 – Thailand could drop Test & Go scheme by May 1

Thai authorities are considering dropping the Test & Go entry program and Thailand Pass registration this week.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, announced Wednesday that together with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) they will present a recommendation for the cancelation at the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) meeting on April 22.

If authorized, the changes will take effect May 1. Travelers could enter the country with vaccination passports and will no longer have to wait 3-5 days for their documents to be approved, as required by the Thailand Pass, he said.

March 28 – Thailand to scrap all Covid entry restrictions by June 1

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports will propose to lift all travel restrictions on June 1 if Covid 19 cases remain stable or decrease. 

Thailand’s Songkran festival, a huge nationwide celebration held every year, will serve as a barometer to determine whether the country can proceed with easing travel restrictions.

“If the government approves [this move] and the situation improves further, the ministry will propose lifting all travel restrictions on June 1,” he said, adding that this means fully vaccinated foreign tourists would be able to enter Thailand freely.

Read our full post: Thailand Unveils Timeline For Travel Restrictions Removal

March 12 – Thailand tourism slowly picking up in 2022

The popular Chian Mai city has begun to experience an uptick in tourism, however, most of it is from backpackers who, in many cases, travel on a budget.

Last December, Thailand received 230,000 visitors. In January the figure plummeted to 134,000 due to the spread of the then-new Omicron variant but in February, 204,000 tourists returned to the country. 

Although the sector is exhibiting signs of recovery, the recent increase in tourists is still insignificant when compared to the 39.8 million travelers who visited Thailand in 2019.k still pales in comparison to the 39.8 million overseas tourists who visit Thailand in 2019.

Thailand eased its entry restrictions on March 1.

February 23 – Thailand aims to ease entry travel restrictions on March 7

Thai Government plans to ease entry restrictions. Travelers will only need to take 1 PCR test on arrival and wait 1 day in the isolation.

February 22 – Thailand’s tourism sector demands the government to remove all remaining entry restrictions

Tourism operators have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and other government officials, urging them to reopen the nation to all foreign visitors without restrictions in March.

They requested the government to remove all remaining entry requirements such as the Thailand Pass and PCR testing upon arrival citing Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, where nearly all COVID entry restrictions have been lifted for all tourists.

Regarding the visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 they say that “these infected tourists have apparently not caused any burden on the country’s healthcare system as their infection rate is very close to that of the common flu.”

February 10 – Thailand has resumed and extended its “Test & Go” free-quarantine entry program 

Thailand has resumed its Test & Go program, which allows visitors to enter the country without quarantine.

This time around, authorities have extended the program to include vaccinated travelers from all countries. Previously, it was only available for travelers from 60 countries.

To be eligible, visitors must be either fully vaccinated or have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The latter only applies to children between 12 and 17. 

All arrivals must also present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of traveling to Thailand.

January 22 – Thailand resumes quarantine-free scheme from February 1

Thailand’s “Test & Go” quarantine-free travel scheme will restart on Feb. 1 with a few adjustments, officials stated earlier this week, after fears about the omicron strain subsided.

Passengers are now required to undergo a PCR test upon arrival and again on the fifth day of their stay. They must also quarantine on both days and agree to have their movements traced for contact tracing throughout that time.

“The country will benefit from both Thai and foreign visitors as well as investors who help stimulate the economy,” center spokesperson Taweesin Visanuyothin said.

January 13 – Thailand has reopened three additional “Sandbox” destinations to all travelers

Thailand added three top beach destinations to its “Sandbox” travel scheme that allows foreign visitors to enter the country on a sort of “soft” quarantine. 

In addition to Phuket, both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors will be able to enter Krabi, Phang Nga, and Koh Samui starting Jan. 9. Visitors are required to stay in these places for at least 7 days before going somewhere else.

Other entry requirements, such as proof of lodging and health insurance, are still in place.

Read our full post: Thailand Reopens 3 More “Sandbox” Top Destinations For ALL Tourists

December 22 – Thailand has halted its “Test and Go” and “Sandbox” programs and reintroduced quarantine for all travelers

Thailand has reintroduced its mandatory 7 to 10 day mandatory quarantine for all arrivals following the confirmation of the first locally transmitted case of the new Omicron variant.

Except for the island of Phuket, the “Sandbox” initiative will be suspended in all locations. Visitors who have previously registered are, nevertheless, permitted to enter Thailand.

But, effective Dec. 22, no new applications for quarantine exemptions will be considered by the government until further notice. 

Read our full post: Thailand Reimposes Quarantine for All Arrivals over Omicron Concerns

December 16: Thailand adjusts entry restrictions from Dec. 16

Thailand’s Cabinet has confirmed that the RT-PCR COVID-19 testing for overseas arrivals under the TEST & GO entry scheme will be maintained.

It also halted the ATK approach, which was set to begin today. Under such a strategy, visitors would not be required to present a COVID-19 test and would not have to wait long to travel across Thailand.

Travelers will be able to enter by land (at Nong Khai’s border checkpoint) in addition to by air starting December 24, 2021, The current 1-night waiting period in a hotel was also reinstated.

December 2 – Thailand will no longer issue its travel “Pass” for 8 African Nations

Although Thai authorities have not directly announced any travel bans, the official “Pass” website now says the country will not be issuing passes for 8 African countries.

“The issuance of Thailand Pass for travelers from the following 8 countries will be temporarily suspended. Those countries include Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe,” it reads.

Those visiting from -other- African nations will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

November 10 – Tourists struggle with the new travel platform in Thailand 

In order to ensure safety for both passengers and locals, the Thai government set up a platform for visitors to upload their COVID-19 tests, vaccination certificates, hotel bookings, and proof of insurance.

But what was supposed to be a solution to manage a large volume of travelers has turned into a headache for those trying to comply with the new guidelines.

Hundreds of users have complained of overwhelming error messages, difficulties downloading PDFs.

Thailand’s foreign ministry is aware of the “technical difficulties encountered” and announced that adjustments are being made.

October 27 – Business owners urge the Thai government to lift the alcohol ban ahead of the reopening on Nov. 1

According to the Chiang Mai Restaurant and Bistro Association, half of the restaurants and bistros in Chiang Mai were closed following an increase in COVID cases that also prompted the government to ban selling alcohol to keep people out of the streets.

But with the reopening around the corner, bars, clubs, and restaurants owners are urging the government to lift the ban so they can stop struggling to survive.

They mostly demand the government to clarify the rules so they have time to recruit staff and prepare for the resumption of operations.

“It’s not going to be a successful campaign at all for the reopening of the country. It will further damage our reputation [when tourists learn most nightlife is close],” said Taopiphop Limjittakorn, a member of the Move Forward party.

October 17 – Thailand to drop quarantine restrictions for low-risk countries on Nov. 1

In a bit to increase the number of international arrivals, the Thailand government has decided to drop its mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from low-risk countries.

In the first phase, travelers from the U.K, Singapore, Germany, China, and the U.S. will no longer need to serve quarantine. More countries would be added on Dec.1.

“Today, I ordered the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Ministry of Public Health to jointly consider [lifting the quarantine mandate] within this week,” said the PM. 

The full list of countries will be updated on a weekly basis.

September 24 – Thailand delays plans to reopen 5 new destinations until November

Thanet Phetsuwan, deputy director for communications and marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the plan to reopen more destinations in Thailand this October may be put off until Nov, 1.

The reason behind this delay seems to be the insufficient vaccination rates each local government needs to achieve in order to get a reopening approved.

The five affected provinces that were scheduled to reopen next week are Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Bangkok.

Source: TravelOffPath

August 29 – Chiang Mai and Hua Hin, Thailand working to reopen in October

Hua Hin is a few weeks away from vaccinating 100% of its healthcare and hospitality workers as well as 70% of its general population. 

Applying the same rules established on the “Phuket Sandbox” scheme, visitors will no longer need to be subject to the 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Also, the “Charming Chiang Mai” program set to start in September has been postponed to October as long as the local government complies with the 20% needed to complete all protocols, announced the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) through Deputy Governor Thanet Phetsuwan, last week.

Source: TDMedia

July 29 – Phuket-Sandbox visitors can now “hop” to other 9 Thailand islands from August 1.

Thailand unveiled an “island hopping” tourism program, allowing Phuket-Sandbox visitors to “hop” to other 9 Thailand islands after staying in Phuket for 7 days. 

As of today, the islands included in the program are Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Tao, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, Railay, Khao Lak, Koh Yao Yai, and Koh Yao Noi in Phangnga.

The move only applies to fully vaccinated visitors who received their last shot at least 14 days before entering Phuket. 


August 13 – Borders closed, low vaccination rates, and social unrest in Thailand.

While thousands of travelers around the world dream about the day that Thailand fully re-opens for tourism, the internal situation does not seem to improve. 

A new law, which forbids visitors and locals to post any news that “causes public fear”, meaning people would not be allowed to share any COVID-19 related information even if it was true, was the last straw for the public.

This restriction as well as the impossibility of having gatherings of more than 5 people, plus the very low vaccination rates have put the population against the police.

For the time being, the government has not expressed intentions to ease some of these restrictions of reopening the rest of the country.

Source: The Guardian

April 9 – Thailand reduces its quarantine period to 7 days

On April 3, the country welcomed the first 130 travelers eligible for a 7-day quarantine trial. These visitors arrived at Phuket International Airport, via a Thai Airways direct flight from Frankfurt, Germany. 

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), reduced quarantines for 11 groups of currently allowed travelers were approved by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on March 31. This is considered on the steps the country is taking to fully reopen to international visitors in July. 

Official information on how to be eligible has not been released.