Do I need to be vaccinated to visit Thailand? Entry rules clarified after u-turn on COVID jabs

Tourists enjoy at Kamala beach in Phuket, Thailand.
Tourists enjoy at Kamala beach in Phuket, Thailand.   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Jorge Silva
By Euronews

Thailand has clarified its COVID-19 entry rules after confusion about whether vaccinations are needed to enter the country.

On Saturday, aviation authorities announced that proof of vaccination would be required for inbound passengers due to insufficient levels of immunisation in China and the rest of the world.

It came as China re-opened its borders and removed quarantine requirements for travellers. Thailand is one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations and expected a deluge of visitors from China.

But two days later, tourism officials decided to reverse the decision to require proof of vaccination after a panel of health experts agreed to withdraw the new rule.

The u-turn has caused widespread confusion among travellers about entry requirements.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has just released a statement which clarifies the rules for vaccination, insurance and COVID-19 testing.

Do you need to be vaccinated to enter Thailand?

International travellers arriving in Thailand are not required to show proof of vaccination, according to the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul.

Charnvirakul told reporters that “showing proof of vaccination would be cumbersome and inconvenient.”

AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit
Tourists arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Samut Prakarn province, Thailand.AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

Foreign tourists are not required to show COVID test results either. Unvaccinated travellers are able to enter the country without restriction.

Do I need to purchase COVID-19 medical insurance to travel to Thailand?

You likely won’t need COVID-19 medical insurance if you are only travelling to Thailand.

However, if you are arriving from or travelling on to a country that requires a negative PCR test to enter, you must have health insurance covering the treatment of COVID-19 in Thailand, the TAT says.

This is in case of infection that would prevent you from leaving the country and must cover at least $10,000 (€9,315) of treatment plus an additional seven days’ stay.

“While Thailand is welcoming all visitors, a visitor’s country of origin or next country of destination may require incoming visitors, including their own nationals returning home, to have a negative PCR test,” the TAT said in a statement.

“Thus, Thailand is aiming to correspond with the rules of these countries and does require COVID insurance for visitors from these countries or visitors to Thailand continuing on to these countries, in case they test positive.”

It lists China and India as examples of such countries.