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Beach in Krabi province, Thailand
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Thailand is finally reopening to vaccinated travellers

The country’s quarantine-free travel scheme will be in place from February

Huw Oliver
Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Huw Oliver
Sophie Dickinson

We could all do with a sun-splashed adventure after the horror of the past two years – and for many of us, jetting off to an island paradise is now an actual possibility. As of February 1, Thailand will reintroduce its ‘test-and-go’ travel scheme for vaccinated travellers, meaning you can finally make that trip of a lifetime to destinations including Bangkok and Phuket.

Fully-jabbed travellers will now be able to enter the country without having to quarantine. Visitors simply have to present a negative PCR test on day one, then they can move around the country as they please until day five. Another test then needs to be taken, with tourists having to wait in their hotel until they get a confirmed negative result. After that, they’re free to explore again. They also need to download a tracking app to ensure they comply with the rules.

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, as case numbers continue to increase across the city. 

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.

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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