Thailand makes major U-turn on COVID vaccination rule for foreign visitors
Less than 48 hours after it was announced, Thailand on Monday scrapped a policy requiring all foreign visitors to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination.
On Saturday, the Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that all foreign passengers to Thailand would have to show they had received two COVID-19 vaccinations.
The policy, which was meant to go into effect today (Jan 9), was announced ahead of an expected surge in visitors from China.
However, by Monday afternoon and following a backlash from not only tourists but just about everyone else involved in Thailand’s tourism industry, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said showing evidence of vaccination was no longer required as it was an inconvenience to visitors.
Mr Anutin said a panel of experts ruled that the requirement was unnecessary as enough vaccinations had been administered globally.
“Showing proof of vaccination would be cumbersome and inconvenient, and so the group’s decision is that it is unnecessary,” Anutin told reporters.
Mr Anutin said foreign tourists would be granted entry to Thailand without restriction.
In addition, foreign tourists are not required to show ATK or RT-PCR test results.
Some foreign nationals visiting Thailand will be required to have COVID insurance in case they test positive while in the kingdom, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) confirmed.
“However, while Thailand is welcoming all visitors, a visitor source market may require incoming visitors including their own nationals returning home to have a negative PCR result,” read a TAT press release.
“Thus, Thailand is aiming to correspond with rules of these countries and does require COVID insurance for visitors from these countries or visitors to Thailand continuing on to these countries, in the case they test positive while in Thailand. Among such countries are China and India.”
Thailand will now continue with the “fully-reopen-to-tourism policy that was introduced on 1 October, 2022”, TAT said.