From Monday, 11 October onward, fully vaccinated travelers from Thailand will not be subjected to Covid-19 quarantine, according to the latest announcement of the UK government.
Earlier, Thailand was listed among countries with high infection levels that were put on a ‘red list’, requiring arrivals to spend 10 days in a government-provided quarantine hotel, and must periodically have a PCR test or other tests.
This process costs visitors from countries on the red list more than 2,000 pounds (92,000 baht) both for accommodations and tests. Some say the cost of the quarantine process is far more expensive than their airplane tickets.
On October 7, UK’s official travel advice website announced that from 4 am on Monday, 11 October, 47 countries, including Thailand, will no longer be on the red list for entering England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Thailand will be considered ROW (Rest of the World). Thai travelers who have completed two shots of endorsed vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson – will be exempted from quarantine.
Vaccine certificates are required upon arrival, while there is no need to have a pre-departure Covid test. They are however required to take a test on day 2 to check for coronavirus.
Those who are not fully vaccinated will be subjected to self-isolation in accommodations of their choices such as home for 10 days. They should present pre-departure covid test at arrivals, and also undergo covid tests on day 2 and day 8.
Though the UK government still warns British nationals against traveling to Thailand based on the country’s current assessment of COVID-19 risks, the relaxation of quarantine measures is expected to attract more UK residents to visit Thailand and then back to the UK.
The British government added Thailand to the red list on August 30, consequently, people from Thailand were banned from entering the UK, but British citizens who return from Thailand must enter quarantine for 10 days.
Since then Thai officials have met with UK counterparts in an attempt to convince them to move the Kingdom back to the ROW list as they feared that restrictions might turn potential visitors away from the Phuket Sandbox program.
The coronavirus pandemic outbreak in Thailand has gradually subsided and various policies have been launched to attract more travelers.
New cases reported daily have fallen from 20,000 in August to 10,000 or lower in October. On Friday, the Public Health Ministry reported there were 11,140 new Covid-19 cases.
From 1 October 2021, the Phuket Sandbox program announced the amended travel restrictions and requirements for foreigners traveling to Phuket.
Holders of British/Irish passports, as well as 54 other nationalities entitled to a 30-day visa exemption, can go to Thailand for tourism purposes for up to 30 days without a visa.
Being removed from the red list reflects the success of the Thai government in battling the coronavirus pandemic, according to Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a government spokesperson.
Ease of restrictions is a step closer to normalizing travel under the new normal practice between the two countries, he noted. (NNT – Article by Busaba Sivasomboon)