If you are like me and make regular trips to Thailand, you will be asking the same question! When Can I visit Thailand again? This crazy Pandemic has put a holt to International travel and it is impacting the tourist areas of every country in the world. Countries like Thailand rely on tourism than most, so they are doing it tough and I know many people who are itching to go back to Thailand and spend their hard earned money to help the suffering Thai people.
So when will international travel resume to Thailand? Well you can go now! That is if you can get a Special Tourist Visa approved by the Thai Government. This STV (Special Tourist Visa) are for countries that have low infection rates and for people who want to go for a long term holiday in Thailand. That is atleast 2 months. The catch to this STV program is that once you arrive in Thailand, you have to spend 15 nights in an approved quarantine hotel.
You have to fork out (probably on average around US$2500) to pay for the hotel room and all of your meals, plus several Covid test, 1 when you first arrive and another several days into your 15 day period and a final test the day before you are released out the quarantine and get to roam freely around Thailand. Only after the 2nd negative test result are you allowed out of your room for some exercise and fresh air. These approved quarantine hotels (ASQ – Alternative State Quarantine hotels) have to have a special area (usually an outdoor area next to the pool) where you can spend 40 minutes – 1 hour per day outside.
While the Thai Government implemented the STV program to try to get some money into their economy by attracting the ‘Grey Nomads’ (retirees who have time to spend an extended holiday), it turns out not alot of people have actually gone to Thailand on the STV. The latest numbers I have seen, only had 400 people arrive each month in December 2020 and January 2021. Not huge numbers to salvage the Thai Touristy economy. I guess the Grey Nomads are in the age bracket that are at most risk of the effects of Covid so I am sure many were worried about the travel and getting infected.
I guess if I could go to Thailand for a 3 month holiday I would consider doing this 2 week stay in a hotel room but any shorter than a long holiday, it is an awful long period to be stuck in a hotel room.
Next challenge is if you are from Australia like me. Australia is a very low infected country with Covid but the Australian Government are still preventing their citizens from leaving the country unless you have a valid compassionate reason or business reason to leave the country. You need to receive approval from the Department of Home Affairs before you can book your flight out of the country. Then when you return to Australia you need to spend the mandatory 14 nights in a quarantine hotel at your own expense ($3000).
So the real answer to when can we travel to Thailand, really will be when most people are vaccinated and the Thai Government open their borders without requiring the 15 nights in mandatory quarantine. What the experts still don’t know is if a vaccinated person can still spread the virus. The vaccine may protect yourself from getting sick if you are in contact with the virus but you may well be passing the virus to other un-vaccinated people. That is something the Thai Government will take into consideration before they open their borders. I sure hope in the coming months, the experts work this one out after the roll-out of the vaccines.
When will that be? Most experts are saying that will not be until late 2021. So sit tight and wait before you book your plane ticket to Thailand. I sure hope it will be later in 2021 when the unknowns are know and international travel is open again. Can’t wait!