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Beach in Krabi province, Thailand
Photograph: Shutterstock

Thailand has finally reopened to vaccinated travellers

Visitors from more than 60 ‘low risk’ countries including the UK and USA are now allowed into the country

Huw Oliver
Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Huw Oliver
Written by
Sophie Dickinson
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We could all do with a sun-splashed adventure after the horror of the past 18 months – and for many of us, jetting off to an island paradise is now an actual possibility. As of today, Thailand has reopened to tourists from the UK and USA, meaning you can finally make that trip of a lifetime to destinations including Bangkok and Phuket

Vaccinated travellers from more than 60 ‘low risk’ countries can now visit the country without having to quarantine. Visitors from countries including the UK, USA, China, Germany and Singapore simply have to present a negative test on arrival, then take another on day two – if they’ve got the jab, that is. Unvaccinated travellers, meanwhile, must take a PCR test before they travel, then quarantine for ten days on arrival.


Previously, a ‘sandbox scheme’ meant that tourists could visit certain islands, but only if they took a series of tests and stayed in particular hotels. The new restrictions are much looser, although Covid restrictions are still in place. In Bangkok, a curfew means the city’s once-hallowed nightlife scene has been subdued somewhat.

Under the country’s current ‘visa exemption’ scheme, travellers from the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and elsewhere can stay for up to 45 days without a visa. 

If you’re from a country not on the list, or simply looking to stay longer, a ‘special tourist visa’ that lasts up to 60 days will also be available. This can be extended twice, to a maximum of just under nine months.

All travellers must provide a negative test result from within 48 hours of arrival, as well as evidence of medical and travel insurance that will cover Covid-19 for at least the length of your stay.

So if you’re looking for your fix of street food and tropical islands, Thailand is back on the agenda. Here are seven reasons why Thailand should be on your 2021 travel list.

Rethinking how you travel post-pandemic? Here are 12 ways to be a better tourist.

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