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Beach in Krabi province, Thailand
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Thailand is scrapping pre-departure tests for vaccinated travellers

The country still requires the unvaccinated to take a PCR either before travel or five days into their stay

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 May 1, Thailand will no longer require visitors to get tested before travelling, regardless of their vaccination status. That means your trip of a lifetime to destinations including Bangkok and Phuket will be just that little bit easier. 

As of February, fully-jabbed travellers have been able to enter Thailand without having to quarantine. Visitors who aren’t vaccinated must either take a PCR test (which comes back negative) in the 72 hours before they enter the country, or book a five-day stay at an approved hotel, quarantine and take a PCR on the final day. Easy choice if you ask us...

All arrivals also have to hold at least $20,000 (£15,175) worth of travel insurance, and download a tracking app to ensure they comply with the rules. If you’ve done all that, you’ll be free to explore the country as you please. 

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. Tourists are now allowed throughout the entirety of the country, 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 30 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 2022 travel list.

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

More on travel restrictions

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