Bangkok was supposed to reopen to international tourists on October 1, and then it was postponed to October 15. Now it has been delayed again.
But international tourists are still allowed to enter Phuket or Samui. However, just because Phuket and Samui allow foreign tourists entry, is it a good idea to travel here for leisure? A retired Canadian couple came through the Phuket Sandbox earlier this month, and they were in for a surprise.
Why Bangkok Postpone Reopening to Foreign Tourists
Vaccinated tourists hoping to fly to Bangkok next month in October without having to do quarantine will have to wait a little longer. The authorities recently announced the delay to reopen Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and other popular destinations to international tourists.
The tourism ministry previously pledged to open the capital, hoping to bring at least one million international tourists by the end of 2021.
Earlier this month, the Thai officials stated they planned to reopen 25 Thai provinces to fully vaccinated international tourists without quarantine by October. But that is now on hold.
The decision to postpone the reopening of Bangkok comes after vaccination rates fell short of the target. Most Bangkok and other major cities’ residents are still waiting for their second jab.
Officials aim to have at least 70% of Bangkok residents to be fully vaccinated before reopening the city and other major cities to international tourists without quarantine measures. Also, infection rates — currently at around 2,700 or more daily cases — must decrease, and the rate of hospitalizations must decrease, according to local Thai news media.
Despite vaccine donations from other countries and locally producing the AstraZeneca vaccines, the vaccine rollout in the country struggles to hit its target.
As of this writing, about 45% of the country had at least one jab, and about 22% have been fully vaccinated.
Thailand New Reopening Date For Foreign Tourists – November 1st
The new reopening date for foreign tourists to Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and other popular destinations will now be November 1.
Meanwhile, Chiang Mai province said it would not accept direct international flights during the first phase of reopening. Foreign tourists must join the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” scheme, staying on the southern island for at least seven days before travelling to Chiang Mai.
This means international tourists are still allowed to travel to Thailand through Phuket or Samui.
Not a Tourist? Need to Enter Thailand?
Suppose you are not a tourist or do not have a tourist visa. You are allowed to enter through Bangkok with or without vaccination. But you will have to do quarantine in a registered hotel.
How to Enter Thailand via Phuket Sandbox or Samui Plus Programs?
First off, there are different types of Thai visas. The ones we’re talking about mainly in this article are tourists with tourist visas. That plan to reopen places like Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai and other major tourist destinations was for international tourists. While the reopening of some cities has been postponed, fully vaccinated tourists with tourists visa are still allowed in the country through Phuket and Samui, with the Phuket Sandbox or the Samui Plus Program.
To do that, besides being fully vaccinated. Tourists must secure a Certificate of Entry, get travel insurance that covers up to $100,000 in potential COVID-19 treatments, pre-book at an SHA Plus-certified hotel for at least seven nights, and book and prepay for all required on-the-ground testing. Tourists must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their departure.
After you graduate from the 7-day in Phuket or Samui, you wish to travel to another approved destination. You may request a transfer to Krabi, Phang-nga, and Samui.
Please contact your local Thai consulate or embassy for the latest visa and other requirements as restrictions and conditions are constantly changing, or some might say flip-flopping by the hour.