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You will still have to serve a quarantine or stay-home notice once you return to Singapore because there is no Vaccinated Travel Lane established with Thailand yet

This story was first published on July 1, 2021, and updated on October 12, 2021.

On October 11, Thailand announced that it will be lifting its quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated tourists who enter the country by air from November 1 onwards, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in a televised national address. 

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“From November 1 onwards, Thailand will start reopening without quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated persons who travel to the country by air from what we classify as low-risk countries,” he said.

There are about 10 countries on the list and they include Singapore, China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. More countries are expected to be added to the list by December 1. 

“We will only request everyone, upon arriving in Thailand, to prove they are free from Covid-19 with an RT-PCR test result obtained before leaving the country of origin. There will be another Covid-19 test when they reach Thailand. Afterwards, they will be able to travel to different areas freely like what ordinary Thais can do,” Prayut said.

This news comes shortly after Thailand announced that they will be pushing back their plans to reopen certain Thai cities to November 2021. This is a result of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccination rates falling short of their targets, according to a senior official.

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“Cities we’ve targeted have not reached 70 per cent vaccination rates and so we have to push out the date to November,” said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn in an interview with Reuters on September 22.

The decision to reopen Bangkok and certain cities comes after a discussion that happened between Pipat Ratchakitprakan, the Tourism and Sports Minister, and  Aswin Kwanmuang, Bangkok’s governor, on September 15.

“Our mutual decision is that we want to carry out the vaccination throughout Bangkok - in every district - so that when we reopen it, it will apply to all of Bangkok,” said Mr Pipat in a press conference. 

With the reopening, all travellers need is a negative Covid-19 test and proof that they have been fully vaccinated before they can visit Bangkok and four other provinces freely.

These areas are Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi and the Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces.

The opening of these areas is expected to follow a sandbox model that was first piloted by the country when it opened up Phuket to vaccinated tourists in July this year. 

Phuket was the first province in Thailand to introduce this programme and it is part of an experimental tourism model that the country started in July.

Phuket was initially chosen simply because it was one of the preferred destinations among overseas travellers besides Bangkok, Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai.

However, there is still various information that tourists need to know before flying into Thailand so before you start making plans to go over, read on to find out everything you need to know.

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You will need to produce a negative Covid-19 test and be vaccinated

As eager as you are to fly to Thailand soon, you need to check certain boxes before you do. For one, you need to be fully vaccinated

Children below the ages of six and travelling with their parents are exempt from the vaccination requirement. You must then obtain a certificate of entry (COE) at the Thai embassy of the country you are from. There is an online system to do this. Finally, you will need to get a certificate showing that you have tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours before you fly to Thailand. 

Aside from these requirements, you will also need to get insurance coverage of no less than US$100,000 for healthcare and treatment expenses related to Covid-19 while you are staying in Thailand. 

Before you fly, make sure that you have a confirmation letter from your hotel that has been certified by the Thai government. If you are staying no more than 14 days, you will need to present proof that you have a confirmed flight out of the country. 

Once you arrive, you will need to take three Covid-19 tests. The first will be administered upon arrival, the second will be a week later and the last will happen towards the end of your second week there. These tests can be done at certified hotels or partner hospitals. 

Make sure that you also download Thailand’s mobile applications ThailandPlus and MorChana in order to assist the Government in their contact tracing efforts during your stay.

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Bangkok's opening will follow the Phuket Sandbox model

Phuket’s reopening is under Phuket’s tourism scheme, Phuket Sandbox. It is an experimental tourism initiative that the country undertook to counter the devastating effects Covid-19 has had on their tourism sector as well as their economy.

The further reopening of their country with cities such as Bangkok will use the same sandbox method and will see similar regulations. 

Thailand is a country that relies primarily on tourism for its economy so this scheme will hopefully keep the kingdom going.

However, alcohol consumption at eateries will continue to be banned in high-risk areas such as Bangkok. The government is considering lifting the alcohol ban by December 1. 

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This is open to travellers from 66 counties and territories

According to Thailand’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Tanee Sangrat in July, Thailand is currently welcoming travellers from 66 countries and territories to Phuket and now Bangkok under their new tourism model.

These countries include Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, USA and Vietnam, among others.

That said, Thailand is still currently seeing an average of 10,508 cases each day and only 42.8 per cent of their country has been fully vaccinated. 

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You will still have to serve a quarantine back in Singapore

Unfortunately, for now, you will still have to serve a quarantine or stay-home notice (SHN) once you return to Singapore because there is no Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) established with Thailand yet. 

Currently, Singapore only has a VTL with Germany and Brunei and has categorised other countries into four separate groups with different restrictions for each group. Thailand, unfortunately, falls into category IV which is for other countries that are deemed to have the highest risk of Covid-19 infections.

Travellers from these countries will have to serve out a 14-day SHN at a dedicated facility.

They will also need to have to test negative on a pre-departure PCR test that has been done within 48 hours, test negative on an on-arrival PCR test, do an Antigen-Rapid Test (ART) on day three, seven and 11 of their SHN and do a PCR test on day 14 of their SHN.

While the Singapore government is looking to see how they can allow vaccinated people to travel to more countries without having to serve a quarantine in the future, no official announcement has been made yet. 

That said, Singapore has announced that they will be launching VTLs with Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain, the United States and South Korea in the coming months  

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