Thailand U-turns on new Covid-19 travel restrictions for international tourists

Incoming passengers no longer need to show proof of vaccination

Thailand no longer requires travellers to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19. Reuters
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Thailand has scrapped its new Covid-19 rules for international travellers.

On Sunday, Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority announced new measures requiring international tourists to show proof of vaccination for Covid-19, or proof of recovery before boarding.

On Monday, authorities U-turned on the new rule and incoming visitors no longer need to show proof of vaccination.

However, new rules for travellers coming from countries that have Covid-19 restrictions in place still need to purchase health insurance.

Thai Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob , Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn at Bangkok Airport after welcoming the first flight of Chinese tourists arriving in Samut Prakan province. EPA

Tourists who are unable to return to their country if they catch Covid-19 while in Thailand must have coverage for treatment for a minimum of $10,000 for the duration of their trip, plus an extra seven days.

Students and business travellers could be exempt if they can show that their hosts will cover the costs of any required medical treatment during their visit.

Travellers under the age of 18, Thai nationals or those on a transit visa have already been exempt from the new measures.

Airlines have been asked to ensure travellers to Thailand wear face masks on flights and remain vigilant to passenger health on board. Any travellers who develop Covid-19 symptoms en route will undergo testing upon landing.

Thailand’s health minister announced the change on Monday, stating that a panel of health experts had agreed to withdraw the new rule.

The South-East Asian country is bracing for an influx of tourists following China’s loosening of Covid-19 restrictions after three years of strict zero Covid policies. Thai tourism officials have estimated that about five million Chinese nationals will visit the country this year.

Updated: January 10, 2023, 5:49 AM
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