Thailand to relax onerous travel restrictions

Thailand (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Thailand (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Thailand is the latest long-haul nation to ease entry restrictions for travellers.

Though it won’t drop all Covid-related rules, from 1 July visitors will no longer need a special “Thailand Pass”, nor mandatory health insurance covering up to $10,000.

Instead, fully vaccinated tourists can simply flash their proof of vaccination - in the UK, the NHS Covid Pass - in order to gain access.

Adults who aren’t fully vaccinated may still enter the country with proof of a negative PCR or professionally administered rapid antigen test taken within the 72 hours before arrival.

In Thailand, “fully vaccinated” means having had two doses of a recognised vaccine, with the second shot administered at least 14 days prior. There is currently no “expiration date” on vaccination, such as that seen in various European nations.

Children can swerve the above rules; those aged 17 and under can enter Thailand under the same scheme as their parents or legal guardian and do not need to show proof of vaccination.

Prior to 1 July, travellers are still required to apply for permission to enter Thailand.

It follows the news that South Africa has dropped all of its remaining travel restrictions, including proof of vaccination or testing for entry to the country, plus mask-wearing in public.

Holidaymakers and visitors no longer need to show proof of a Covid vaccination at the border, nor take any tests before travel or quarantine once in the country.

Previously, unvaccinated and partly vaccinated people aged 12 and over had to take a PCR or antigen test before their flight.

Additionally, lingering restrictions on gathering sizes, and the requirement to wear a mask in crowded indoor settings and on public transport, have been removed.