Thailand to reopen to international travellers from 1st July 2021


Fully vaccinated travellers can stay in Phuket quarantine-free from this summer, reports Shauna McCrudden

Beautiful Thailand – Karon Viewpoint, Phuket. Photo by Clodagh Dooley

As the vaccination rollout continues worldwide, more and more countries are opening up for travel without restrictions this summer. Now the ‘Land of Smiles’ is joining the list! Thailand will begin to remove quarantine requirements and open its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from 1st July 2021. The popular tourist island of Phuket will be the first destination in Thailand to welcome international travellers and from October, five further tourist areas will ease restrictions.

The news comes as the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), chaired by the Thai Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-Ocha, approved the stages of reopening.

From 1st July, the quarantine period will be removed entirely for Phuket. In the meantime, residents of Phuket are being prioritised to receive the vaccine, aiming for 70% of the island’s population to be vaccinated before tourism resumes. 

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“Thailand’s priority is to make tourism safe for both tourists and locals alike,” said Ms Chiravadee Khunsub, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) London. “From 1st July, quarantine will not be required for travellers visiting Phuket, on the basis they’ve been fully vaccinated and tested negative for Covid-19. Phuket has been Covid-19 free for 90 days, so it is a safe choice for travellers looking to get away this summer. 

“From October, five further popular destinations will reopen ahead of our peak season, ready to welcome winter sun travellers. Today’s announcement is very positive news, as Thailand makes careful and considered steps to reopening tourism to international markets.”

From October, Phuket, Krabi, Phangnga, Koh Samui, Chonburi (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai will all be accessible, and quarantine-free, for vaccinated travellers. Travellers are required to stay for at least seven days at the point of entry so should plan their itinerary accordingly, i.e. seven days in one of the named destinations above before exploring elsewhere in Thailand. 

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For all stages of the reopening, travellers are required to:

  • obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE) before departure
  • present official proof of vaccination (both jabs)
  • present a negative PCR test result (within 72 hours of departure from the UK)
  • download the Thailand Plus track and trace application before departure and upload the required information
  • obtain travel insurance with Covid-19 cover

All travellers will have to take a Covid-19 test on arrival (at their hotel) and stay for at least seven days at the point of entry (i.e. Phuket) before travelling onwards around Thailand.

All other destinations in Thailand, not listed above, are still subject to a seven-day mandatory area quarantine on arrival until further notice.

Ms Khunsub added, “We know there is huge pent-up demand for travel to Thailand. Our tour operator partners have reported an increase in enquiries already this year but they haven’t converted to sales whilst the borders have been closed. As airlines resume service to Thailand, itineraries will be shaped by route availability.”

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