Unless you’re seriously itching for a trip to the Land of Smiles, you may want to wait a bit longer before dusting off your passport.
Thailand is again making it somewhat easier for tourists to visit with the return of its “Test & Go Thailand Pass” programme, allowing vaccinated international visitors to travel to any part of the country (unlike the Phuket Sandbox initiative, which required tourists to remain only on the island), skipping the time-consuming and often expensive quarantine period.
With effect from February 1, Thailand will allow fully vaccinated travelers from any country, including Malaysia, to apply for entry under the programme up to 60 days before their trip, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Of course, it’s not easy or simple as the headlines might suggest, and of course, there’s a catch or two along the way. But for tourists who are super keen to return to the cities, islands, beaches, or temples of Thailand, it’s certainly better than anything that’s been on offer for a long time.
In order to be eligible, tourists must do the following:
- Apply for the programme online, which will reopen for applications on February 1
- Book and prepay for a stay in an approved SHA+ hotel for two separate nights (on day 1 and day 5)
- Arrange and prepay for two Covid-19 PCR tests to be administered (in Thailand) on day 1 and day 5 of their trip
- Make a confirmed round-trip flight booking
- Prearrange private transfer from the airport to their hotel
- Stay in their room on day 1 and day 5 of their trip until they receive the results of their coronavirus tests
- Arrive with a medical certificate proving a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure (that’s a total of three PCR tests for those of you counting at home, not counting any required by Malaysia upon return)
- Purchase Covid-inclusive insurance with at least US$50,000 in coverage
- Apply and be approved for Thailand Certificate of Entry or the Thailand Pass
- Complete the T8 Health Form
- And of course, lest anyone forget, each traveller must be fully vaccinated and produce a certificate stating such upon arrival in Thailand
Given this laundry list of requirements to visit our neighbour to the north, Malaysia’s own appealing travel destinations — of which there are plenty — surely look a lot more enticing for domestic tourists!
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