Planning a Trip to Thailand during COVID-19: Important Things Travellers Need to Know

Planning a Trip to Thailand during COVID-19: Important Things Travellers Need to Know


A user-friendly checklist of points covering before, during, and after travelling to Thailand.

The TAT Newsroom has compiled the relevant entry requirements during the current COVID-19 travel restrictions for international travellers planning a trip to Thailand, including Thai nationals and foreign expatriates returning from overseas. Kindly note that this information is to serve as reference only, and it is especially important to check in regularly on www.tatnews.org to stay current on what remains a very fluid and fast changing situation.

Travel Advisories

Planning Your Visit

Q: What are the countries and territories from where travellers may enter Thailand?

A: From 11 January, 2022, international travellers from any countries and territories from around the world will be able to travel to Thailand under either the Sandbox programme, or Alternative Quarantine.

Travellers who have applied/obtained their Thailand Pass QR code before 22 December, 2021, with scheduled arrival dates in Thailand from 24 December, 2021, onwards, can still enter Thailand – under the entry scheme they’ve applied for – until there are any changes. Currently, there is no cut-off date.

Entry Schemes

Q: What are the entry options for international travellers planning a trip to Thailand?

A: There are currently two entry options for travellers from overseas.

Living in the Blue Zone Sandbox destinations

Happy Quarantine

Kindly note that starting from 22 December, 2021 until further notice, the Thailand Pass has been suspended for all new TEST&GO and Sandbox applications, except Phuket Sandbox, Krabi Sandbox, Phang-Nga Sandbox, and Samui Sandbox (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao).

Visa Requirements

Q: What are the visa requirements, if any is required?

A: For tourism purposes, there are currently two types of visa, for which travellers may apply online at www.thaievisa.go.th.

  • • Tourist visa (single entry): for stay up to 60 days with possible one-time extension of 30 days.
  • • Special Tourist Visa (STV): for stay up to 90 days with possible extension of 90 days twice.

Kindly note that a valid visa or re-entry permit is required for the Thailand Pass application, except passport holders of countries/territories entitled to a 30-day visa exemption (see list).

From 1 October, 2021, foreign travellers can apply for a Visa on Arrival (VOA), but they are still required to apply for a Thailand Pass before flying to Thailand. However, the VOA will be granted for only 15 days without possible extension. Also, currently, only passport holders of Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu may apply for the VOA.

A new Stickerless Electronic (SE) Visa service

From 27 September, 2021, a new Stickerless Electronic Visa service (SE Visa Service) has been launched in 21 Thai Embassies and Consulates-General in 9 countries; namely. Canada, China, Denmark, France, Norway, Republic of Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The SE Visa service will be made available in more countries around the world in the near future.

SE Visa applicants can submit their applications, pay the visa fees, and receive their stickerless e-visas through the website: www.thaievisa.go.th without visiting the Embassies or Consulate-General offices. After the SE Visa application has been approved, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the applicants. Information on the visa will be linked to the immigration system; however, it is recommended that travellers print a copy of the confirmation e-mail to present to the airline and Thai Immigration officials to carry out checks when travelling to Thailand.

For more information on different visa categories for other purposes than tourism, see www.thaievisa.go.th.

Kindly note it is currently not possible to cross the border and re-enter Thailand for a visa extension because Thai borders remain closed under the current COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Thailand Pass

Q: When will the Thailand Pass system replace the Certificate of Entry (COE)?

A: The “Thailand Pass” system (https://tp.consular.go.th/) is a web-based system developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA). The system allows Thai and foreign travellers to fill in their travel and health information and upload the related documents before travelling.

The purpose of the system is to support the “Ease of Traveling” policy, which will be implemented after the reopening of the country.

The Thailand Pass system has been in place from 1 November, 2021. However, from 22 December, 2021, the system has been suspended for all new TEST&GO and Sandbox applications, except Phuket Sandbox, Krabi Sandbox, Phang-Nga Sandbox, and Samui Sandbox (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao).

Travellers who have applied/obtained their Thailand Pass QR code before 22 December, 2021, with scheduled arrival dates in Thailand from 24 December, 2021, onwards, can still enter Thailand – under the entry scheme they’ve applied for – until there are any changes. Currently, there is no cut-off date.

Check Your Thailand Pass Status

More information can be found on the Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand’s website (https://consular.mfa.go.th/), or you may contact the Royal Thai Embassy / Royal Thai Consulate-General in your area for more information

Vaccination Requirements

Q: What are the vaccination requirements?

A: Thailand currently approves 8 COVID-19 vaccines, and everyone 18 years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travelling to the Kingdom, while rules differ for those under 18 years. More details at COVID-19 vaccine guide for travellers to Thailand.

However, kindly note that to be eligible to apply for a Thailand Pass under the Sandbox programme, travellers must be fully vaccinated or have a certificate of COVID-19 recovery. See more details at Sandbox entry programme.

Meanwhile, travellers can apply for Thailand Pass under the Alternative Quarantine programme, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated travellers will be subject to a 7-night quarantine, and those who haven’t been fully vaccinated will be subject to a 10-night quarantine. Children under the age of 18 travelling with fully vaccinated parents are all subject to a seven-night quarantine. See more details at Happy Quarantine.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Q: What is the COVID-19 test requirement while in Thailand?

A: In addition to a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling to Thailand, Sandbox travellers are required to undergo 2 RT-PCR tests, while AQ travellers are required to undergo 2 or 3 tests depending on the length of their quarantine.

AQ travellers: Tests must be prepaid. See more details at Happy Quarantine. 

Sandbox travellers: Tests must be prepaid. See more details at Sandbox entry programme.

Exit / Entry Screening

Q: What is the documentation requirement for exit screening at the point of departure?

A: Travellers must print a copy of all documentation – which must be in English – that was required for the Thailand Pass, along with a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling, when undergoing the exit screening before departure. The documentation must be presented to the airline to carry out checks when travelling to Thailand.

Travellers under 18 years of age, travelling with their parents or guardians, must have a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.

Please note that failing to comply with your respective airline’s guidelines can result in denied boarding.

Q: What is the procedure after disembarking from my flight?

A: Upon arrival at Thailand’s international airport, all travellers are subject to health screening, including a COVID-19 nasal swab RT-PCR testing, and Immigration procedures. Children under 6 years of age will receive a COVID-19 saliva RT-PCR testing.

Travellers must download and install MorChana, an alert application, as well as set the application on at all times for the whole duration in Thailand. For Sandbox travellers, they must also record the test result on Day 5-6 in the application.

AQ travellers: After clearing health control and Immigration, travellers will need to go straight to their reserved AQ hotel by a pre-arranged transfer for the required quarantine period (7 to 10 nights depending on the vaccination status). They are not permitted to stop en route for any reason.

Sandbox travellers: After clearing health control and Immigration, as well as showing proof that they have downloaded an alert application, travellers will need to proceed directly to the reserved SHA Extra Plus hotel in their preferred Sandbox destination on the approved airport transfer service, and shall not stop en route for any reason. They must wait in the hotel room only for the result of the first COVID-19 RT-PCR test, which should be available within the day.

• Travellers with a negative test result can enjoy travel activities within a Sandbox destination throughout the 7 days, but must return to their prearranged accommodation on a nightly basis. They are not allowed to stay overnight in any other places.

• Travellers must stay at least the first 7 nights within a Sandbox destination if planning to continue the journey to other destinations in Thailand. If staying less than 7 nights, the traveller must leave Thailand to another country immediately.

Kindly note that if you arrive during 00.01-18.00 Hrs., the day is Day 1. If you arrive during 18.01-00.00 Hrs., the day after is Day 1.

Q: What is the procedure in the event your COVID-19 swab test result returns as positive?

A: If testing positive for COVID-19, travellers will be referred for appropriate medical treatment in accordance with Thailand’s Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558 (2015).

• Pending on their conditions, they may be medically advised by to receive treatment in either hospital hotel isolation or community isolation.

• During receiving the medical treatment – at least 10 days, they must remain in their accommodation only. They should not leave their accommodation unless utmost necessary, and must notify the Communicable Disease Control officer in-charge.

• After having recovered from COVID-19, they will receive a medical certificate of recovery.

Kindly note that the expenses must be covered by the required insurance for foreign travellers, or national healthcare coverage for Thais and eligible foreign expatriates.

During Your Stay

Q: What is the requirement for local transfer within the destination and between the Sandbox destinations?

A: This is applicable to Sandbox travellers only.

For local transfer, it is recommended that travellers use SHA Plus certified businesses and services for their added safety, as SHA Plus certification indicates hotels, restaurants, transportation providers, and tour services who meet the safety measures to control COVID-19, and also that at least 70% of their workforce has been fully vaccinated.

Kindly note that currently, renting a vehicle is possible in Phuket only, but again, it is recommended that travellers use a SHA Plus rental car service.

For local transfer between Sandbox destinations, it is recommended that travellers use SHA Plus or approved transportation only.

Q: [For Sandbox] During my 7-day stay, am I only allowed to stay in one destination, or can I spend 4 days in Phuket and 3 days in Krabi?

A: For Krabi, Phang-nga and Phuket, just one destination for the time being.

However, with a Sandbox destination, you are allowed to change your accommodation twice within the first 7 days. For instance, if you are applying for a Phuket Sandbox entry programme, you can stay in two hotels (must be approved accommodation only; such as, a SHA++ hotel). The same applies for Krabi and Phang-Nga.

For Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Phan-ngan and Ko Tao), after staying 1 night on Ko Samui and having a negative RT-PCR on Day 1, travellers can stay in Ko Pha-ngan or Ko Tao. If you decided to stay on Ko Samui only, you can also change your accommodation on Ko Samui twice.

Q: What are the health and safety precautions for travellers in Thailand?

A: Protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

While in Thailand, travellers are advised to strictly follow standard, good personal hygiene practices, such as, wear a mask in public, maintain hand hygiene (washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer), and keep physical distance of at least 1 metre from others.

Travellers who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms should get tested. If testing positive they must get an appropriate medical treatment. Those with COVID-19 testing appointment must get tested.

Tourist safety

The Royal Thai Government places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of every visitor to Thailand. As the main government agency responsible for the promotion and marketing of Thailand as a preferred destination, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is working closely with all the concerned public and private organisations to ensure the utmost efforts to prevent any unfortunate incidents occurring on tourists and the local Thai people.

Domestic Departure

Q: What is the requirement for domestic travel after I’ve completed the AQ/Sandbox stay?

A: For domestic travel, travellers must show proof that they have completed the required quarantine period or Sandbox’s mandatory stay.

AQ travellers: Travellers must show proof that they have completed either a 7- or 10-night quarantine (or a ‘Release Form’).

Sandbox travellers: Travellers must show proof that they have completed a 7-night stay in the Sandbox destination (or a ‘Release Form’).

Please note that each destination in Thailand has entry requirements, and you should check on these beforehand, to make sure you meet them. Besides the Release Form, other documentation may include a certificate of vaccination and a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected).

International Departure

Q: What is the requirement of the country/territory I will fly to after my stay in Thailand?

A: For travelling from Thailand to other countries, travellers are advised to follow the guidelines and measures announced by the respective country of their destination.

Q: Is it possible to stay overnight for a transit flight in Bangkok before flying back to my country?

A: This is only possible after you have completed the mandatory 7-night stay in the Sandbox destination. This means you will need to have all of your advance arrangements in good order for domestic travel for a transit flight in Bangkok, including a Release Form and a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result.

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