All travellers, irrespective of passport nationality, must show proof of at least two covid vaccinations according to the “final” committee meeting chaired on January 5 by Thai health minister Anutin Charnvirakul. He did not give a definite date for the latest procedure to be checked on individuals, but travel agents are advising all foreigners – including those from UK, EU, America and Australia – to bring the paper documentation or online verification on their next journey to Thailand.
Travellers will not be compelled to purchase pre-flight covid or travel insurance, even though that is recommended for all, unless such cover is specifically required as part of their visa (O/A retirement visa or 10 year residence permission) or if their next destination after Thailand requires a pre-flight RT-PCR Covid test. Journeys affected that that would include post-Thailand flights to China or India where entry for all passengers depends on having such a clinical test 48 hours in advance of the journey. That rule is to show that anyone testing positive for the virus will have medical insurance to cover the costs of any required treatment in recovery.
The latest rules, technically from the Department of Disease Control, allow Thai authorities to say they are not introducing any regulations which target only Chinese tourists. It is unclear where, how and what cost Chinese nationals will be able to take a RT-PCR test in Thailand 48 hours or less before returning home. Although there is substantial concern worldwide about many Chinese vacationers having the virus and spreading it internationally – amid growing disbelief about Beijing’s official statistics – the Thai government is nervous of incurring the wrath of a major trading partner. Cash is king for the time being.
Greg Watkins, a UK-based travel agent, said, “Thailand-bound British tourists will soon need once again to prove their minimum two-shot vaccination to both airline checkin staff and Thai immigration. There is no sign that they will be required to be medically insured, but should bear in mind the high costs of hospital care in the kingdom.” The Thai health minister said last night there were no new screening measures yet in place for any nationality pending the formal announcement. However, a monitoring committee would keep a close eye on arrivals at airports, land borders and ports.