“The ‘Land of Smiles’ is eager and excited to welcome travelers to experience all the beloved destinations across Thailand just as easily as they used to.”
Thailand will drop the last of its remaining pandemic-related travel rules this week as the country ends its nationwide COVID-19 Emergency Decree.
Starting Oct. 1, the Southeast Asian country will no longer require travelers to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test to enter, the Tourism Authority of Thailand confirmed toTravel + Leisure. The decision comes as Thailand reclassifies COVID-19 from “a dangerous communicable disease” to “a communicable disease under surveillance.”
The new rules “further simplifies the ability for all to experience the vibrant culture, cuisine and natural beauty of Amazing Thailand. We’re hopeful that easing the arrival process will encourage travelers to plan their visits, resulting in a resurgence to Thailand’s tourism,” Santi Sawangcharoen, the director of the TAT New York office and acting director of the TAT Toronto office, said in a statement provided to T+L. “The ‘Land of Smiles’ is eager and excited to welcome travelers to experience all the beloved destinations across Thailand just as easily as they used to.”
In addition to dropping pandemic-era restrictions, Thailand will also extend the time visa-exempt travelers can stay in the country from 30 days to 45 days. Travelers from the United States do not require a visa to enter, according to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Thailand.
The new visa rules will be in effect from Oct. 1 through March 31, 2023, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Thailand first started welcoming international tourists in July 2021 as part of a Phuket Sandbox program before eventually expanding travel and then once again tightening border restrictions amid the emergence of the omicron variant. Earlier this year, the country brought back a "Test & Go Thailand Pass" program, allowing vaccinated international visitors to travel to any part of the country and skip quarantine.
Currently, travelers must show either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of traveling to enter the country.
Thailand is the latest country to lift restrictions. In July, Australia lifted all remaining pandemic-era rules and nearby New Zealand followed earlier this month. In October, Japan also plans to begin welcoming independent travelers again, while Hong Kong just relaxed travel rules, eliminating its mandatory 3-day hotel quarantine.