This is the million-baht question! Well, the answer is, at the time of writing this article, now. Things are always changing so please always check your local Thai embassy!
But, yes, you can come over and have a holiday in Thailand now, but there are some caveats and administrative hoops to navigate through.
The Thai Cabinet has approved visitors from any country to apply for the ‘Special Tourist Visa’ (STV) if they plan to travel to Thailand. The STV Thai visa was previously issued to tourists from ‘low risk’ countries, deemed as having low numbers of Covid-19 cases and now it open to everyone.
How Do I Apply for an STV?
This depends on where you are located, but your local Thai Embassy should be your first port of call. There are some steps to go through, we will outline them here:
Foreigners applying for a Special Tourist Visa must:
• Accept compliance of preventive measures as prescribed by the government, including submitting to Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) in accredited hospitals/hotels for not less than 14 days upon arrival.
• Show proof of payment for hotel accommodation or admittance to hospitals chosen as Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facilities.
• Proof of accommodation after the 14-day quarantine, which could be any of the following:
– Proof of payment for hotel or accommodation to be used after discharge from quarantine.
– Copy of a condominium title deed owned by the visitor or a family member.
– Evidence of renting accommodation – condominium or house.
– Evidence of payment for the purchase or lease of a condominium-type residence that foreigners can legally buy or lease.
• Medical and Travel Insurance with a minimum USD 100,000 coverage for COVID-19 medical treatment and minimum coverage of THB 400,000 for other medical and accident expenses. The insurance must cover for at least 90 days of the initial validity of the visa.
Once you have all of this proof of quarantine hotel, proof of long-stay and medical insurance you will be ready to submit your application to your local Thai Embassy or Consulate.
You must get in touch with the Thai Embassy or Consulate or your local office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in your country or an accredited travel agency. An initial application will be submitted to the Immigration Bureau for a background check.
After receiving approval from the Immigration Bureau, you or the agency you have used, will be requested to submit the visa application form, pay the visa fee, provide the proof of ASQ accommodation, proposed chartered flight to Thailand and copy of the health insurance policy. The application will then be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After the visa application has been approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you will collect the STV visa and the Certificate of Entry (COE) which will be issued by the Thai Embassy or Consulate in your country. You will also have to provide a ‘Fit to Fly Medical Certificate’ which must state that you do not have Covid-19 and this certificate must be issued within 72 hours before your departure.
Sadly, you will not be heading straight out to the local eateries in Bangkok, you must have a health screening before your permit to stay for 90 days is issued, then you will go to the chosen quarantine hotel for 14 days.
Once you have been tested negative for Covid-19 after the 14-day quarantine, you will have the freedom to travel around the country. There is a mobile application that will track your destination, but at the time of writing this article we do not know anyone who has had to use this.
Where are the Quarantine Hotels?
What to Expect?
If you love Netflix and reading your days in isolation will not be too bad! Packages usually include full board, 3 meals a day delivered to your room, 2-3 Covid tests during your stay, regular temperature checks and accommodation for 15 nights (16 days). You are not allowed alcohol though, we have no idea why…but no booze, so on the bright side it is like a detox! If you are coming with your partner and you are not married, you have to quarantine separately. So, get hitched to avoid this outdated rule before you arrive and celebrate once you are released on a beautiful beach.