Dreaming about lying in the sun on Thailand’s white sand beaches. This guide includes what you’ll need to do before travelling to Thailand, and returning to England.
We’ve also outlined what you need to think about when it comes to travel insurance.
What are the entry requirements for travel to Thailand?
From 1 May, fully vaccinated travellers can apply to enter Thailand via the Thailand Pass. They do not need to take any form of Covid test or quarantine.
They must be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before departure, with a vaccine approved by the Ministry of Public Health, and have a vaccination certificate, if 18 years of age or over.
A digital certificate or hard copy of their Covid-19 vaccination status should be accepted.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated, can enter Thailand via the Alternative Quarantine scheme or can be exempted from quarantine if they have proof of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
They must quarantine at a State Quarantine or an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility.
They may need to download the Thai Chana COVID-19 tracking app on arrival.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated, who have recovered from Covid-19 and have received at least one dose of an approved vaccine, should show a medical certificate of recovery for entry to the country.
What other entry requirements are there?
To enter Thailand, your passport must have at least six months’ validity from your date of entry into Thailand. British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa (‘visa exemption’).
If you plan to stay any longer than this, you’ll need to apply for a ‘tourist visa’ (single entry for up to 60 days) or a ‘special tourist visa’ (90-270 days) or you will be subject to overstay penalties, at 500 baht a day (about £10), up to a maximum of 20,000 baht (about £400).
Immigration officials in Thailand may ask you for proof of onward travel and evidence of having adequate finances. Find out more here about Thailand’s entry requirements.
Once in Thailand
An emergency decree is currently in place in Thailand due to Covid-19. This means that you must not:
Enter high-risk areas
Hoard essential goods
Attend public gatherings
Propagate false information.
You must wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces in Thailand as well as in vehicles if you are with others. You may have to pay a fine if you don’t.
The Thai government also advises avoiding unnecessary travel and crowded places, and you should scan the MorChana tracking app where available.
Some provinces have restrictions on dining in restaurants, gathering in groups, curfews and closure of shops.
The consumption of alcoholic beverages in restaurants as well as the operation of entertainment venues under appropriate health precautions is allowed. Find out more about Covid-19 restrictions here. Tourism updates can be found here.
Your temperature is also likely to be taken as you enter hotels in Thailand, and you may be asked about your recent travel history.
Returning to the UK
As of 18 March 2022, both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers arriving in or returning to the UK will not need to take any form of Covid test, complete a passenger locator form or quarantine.
You can find more information and guidance on travel rules for returning to the UK.
Do I need travel insurance for a trip to Thailand?
As mentioned above, one requirement of entry to Thailand is to hold travel insurance with Covid-19 cover, including a minimum of US $100,000 in medical costs for the duration of your stay in Thailand. You should print out your insurance certificate, plus the pages of terms and conditions of Covid-19 coverage and medical benefits, in English.
It’s wise to take out comprehensive travel insurance as soon as you book any trip to give yourself peace of mind that you’re covered against a number of things that could go wrong on a getaway. These include lost or damaged possessions, unexpected cancellation and medical costs.
Government advice and travel insurance
For security reasons, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises against all but essential travel to the following places in Thailand:
Southern Songkhla province. This does not include areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom, and areas north-west of and including the train line which runs between Hat Yai and Pedang Besar.
If you travel to these places, your travel insurance is likely to be invalid unless you have taken out a specialist policy.
How do I find the best travel insurance policy for a trip to Thailand?
Before taking out travel insurance, it’s important to compare a number of different policies so you feel comfortable that the one you’ve bought is the right one for you at a competitive price.
Look carefully at what is covered regarding disruption caused by Covid-19 as well as financial limits for each element of the policy, your excess amount and any exclusions.