Thailand plans to reopen popular destinations including Bangkok in October

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Things are improving. Officials in Thailand announced Thursday that the country plans to reopen the capital Bangkok and other popular tourist destinations from next month. The announcement comes following studies that show Covid infections may have peaked in the country, following record cases last summer.

The lifting of restrictions for international travelers in different parts of Thailand hopes to boost tourism after more than a year of a struggling industry.

Yee peng festival at Wat Phra Singh temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bangkok, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai among the destinations to reopen

The reopening of a number of destinations in the Kingdom of Thailand will follow the plan of the Phuket Sandbox program, underway since July. New destinations slated to reopen include Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya and the northern city of Chiang Mai.

Please note that this is still a partial reopening of the Kingdom. As said to Reuters News by Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Yuthasak Supasorn, this reopening will begin with areas popular with visitors. The minister also mentioned that the country aims to reach 1 million visitors by the end of the year.

Mon Sone Viewpoint, Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park, Angkhang Mountain, Chiang Mai, Thailand

What are the new health restrictions for traveling to Thailand?

Under the new travel guidelines for October, all visitors to Thailand must provide proof of full Covid vaccination, with the last dose given at least two weeks before travel. The vaccines approved for travel are the WHO approved vaccine list, namely: Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sinovac.

Thai women sell at the Saturday night market on August 27, 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Visitors must also provide a negative Covid PCR test result taken no later than 72 hours before travel, and will receive another PCR test upon landing.

Travelers should then proceed directly to their SHA-plus approved hotel in the destination to wait for the results. Once a negative test result arrives, you are authorized to travel. Travel health insurance should also be purchased for the trip, with coverage of at least $ 100,000 for emergencies.

Tuk tuk parked in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

Phuket sandbox initiative helps tourism

From July 1, the country launched the Phuket Sandbox program which has proven to boost tourism in parts of the southern islands of Thailand. The destinations of Phuket and Koh Samui have opened up to vaccinated tourists, following orientation tests and hotel stay.

The program expanded last month, with more islands in the region welcoming tourists. According to updated guidelines released in August, travelers can travel to specific nearby destinations after 7 days in Phuket and two negative test results – one before departure and one upon arrival.

Extended sandbox destinations include: Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai and Railay in Krabi. Khao Lak and Koh Yao in Phang-Nga, and the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Travel must be made by approved modes of transportation.

The announcement follows the postponed reopening in June

Thailand was due to welcome foreign tourists without quarantine restrictions in early June 2021, but the reopening has been postponed following an increase in Covid cases across the Kingdom.

As of 2020, Thailand has not been officially closed to international visitors, but heavy travel restrictions have been applied. Any international traveler arriving in the Kingdom must self-quarantine at a government-approved hotel for two weeks and undergo Covid testing. These restrictions have had a significant effect on mass tourism.

Swing hang from the coconut palm on the beach, Phangan Island

US restrictions for Thailand

In August, the United States added Thailand to its Level 4 “Do not travel” advisory, along with the countries of France and Iceland. The advisory was issued due to the high number of reported Covid cases.

Currently, foreign nationals from Thailand are not permitted to travel to the United States for non-essential reasons.

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