Sure you’ve heard Thailand is reopening to vaccinated tourists? Got confused with the rules? Let us do the orienteering for you around the latest reopening plan in October 2021!
UPDATE 11 OCT 2021: Prime Minister Prayut made a televised address on 11 October calling for a new nationwide reopening plan based on visitor’s origin countries, which will allow visitors from at least 10 countries (of which UK, Singapore, China, Germany, USA are named) visit all Thailand without quarantine from 1 November, with visitors from more countries allowed from 1 December and 1 January. We’re closely following updates in changes to the reopening plan.
Following the sandbox schemes in Phuket, Koh Samui and other select destinations, Thailand is now implementing a revised four-phase scheme that will reopen most of the country by January 2022.
This however means that ORIEN.ASIA, in consultation with the Thailand Orienteering Federation, needs to postpone the Thailand International Orienteering Championship 2021 & Training Camp to the end of December / New Year (26 December-2 January)—more updates will follow on ORIEN.ASIA.
This means that tourists who are fully vaccinated (for more than 14 days) may enter these areas from abroad without quarantine. This updated plan is definitely approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Bangkok, Pattaya and nearby provinces will reopen in November without need of quarantine for fully vaccinated tourists. Chiang Mai and Hua Hin will also reopen under this phase.
More provinces will have fully reopened by December, except some border provinces which will reopen in January 2022 or later. The reopening plan, as it currently stands, covers 44 of the 77 provinces of Thailand.
What should I know about travelling to Thailand?
For travelling to Thailand, the procedure is largely similar as earlier in 2021, and likely the same as under the Phuket Sandbox:
1. Applying for the Certificate of Entry
One important thing you must now do before travelling to Thailand is to apply for the Certificate of Entry (CoE). You can directly apply for the CoE if you have visa-free access; otherwise you need to apply for a visa from the embassy first.
You need to fill in an online form for pre-approval and upload the passport. You need to choose your country of departure for the embassy. Once pre-approved, you’ll complete the online form with your travel details and submit the following documents:
- Flight ticket
- Hotel booking confirmation—hotel must meed SHA+ standards and the confirmation must be issued under the SHABA system (SHA Plus Booking Authentication system)
- Health insurance that includes COVID-19 with a cover of at least USD100,000—search on the Internet for approved providers
2. RT-PCR COVID-19 test required within 72 hours before departure
Thailand requires an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure.
CoE and test certificates will be checked on arrival and may be taken by officials—please have hard copies ready.
3. Contact tracing app—what exactly is required?
The official rules state that the Thailand Plus app is required to be installed on your phone. While some airlines do check it during check-in, the contact tracing app that is usually used in Thailand is actually MorChana. The difference between the two is that MorChana only has an interface in Thai. You’ll more likely be requested to show the MorChana app at public places in Thailand.
Our recommendation is to install Thailand Plus first, and replace it with the MorChana app upon arrival in Thailand.
4. In Thailand
You’ll need to take two COVID-19 tests once in Thailand. The fee may not be included in the hotel price.
5. Can I travel elsewhere in Thailand?
This is not announced yet—under the current rules of Phuket and Samui sandboxes, tourists may travel freely in Thailand after the 2nd COVID-19 test on day 7.
What if I travel to a province that hasn’t reopened yet?
You’ll still need to quarantine even you’ve been fully vaccinated, if you travel to a province that hasn’t yet reopened—but now only for 7 days instead of 14.
Since 1 October, the quarantine period has shortened from 14 days to 7 days for fully vaccinated travellers, and 10 days for travellers not fully vaccinated.
After quarantine, you’re allowed to travel anywhere in the country directly, subject to provincial restrictions. Keep the quarantine certificate (issued to you by the hotel) for possible checkpoints on the road.
What about orienteering?
We’re postponing the Thailand International Orienteering Championship 2021 & Training Camp to the end of December (26 December-2 January). This allows all of you to come without quarantine!
We’re negotiating with the Thailand Orienteering Federation on the final details regarding pricing and provisions, which may differ from previously announced to ensure the success of the first Championship edition after the pandemic. We aim to publish these changes here and reopen entries before 15 October the latest. Please wait for our updates—consider subscribing to ORIEN.ASIA.
See you in Thailand!