There isn’t enough ink on the internet to properly document the reopening of travel in Thailand. It was messy and confusing, with brief pockets of “wtf” and even some elation.
To bring you up to speed, it’s pretty standard now, just with a bit more bureaucracy than some other countries. And with the elimination of testing requirements for fully vaccinated visitors, entry is now easier than entering the United States.
From June 1st, Thailand has introduced a faster method to authorize entry into the country – and that’s great news for anyone hoping to book soon and fly even earlier.
Thailand Speed Up Thailand Passport
There are two things that deter most fully vaccinated travelers from boarding a plane to Thailand. One is proof of medical insurance of at least $10,000 for the trip. The second is the “Thailand Pass”.
The “Thailand Passport” is basically an application system for non-Thai visitors to enter the country. Prospective visitors upload their proof of insurance and proof of health insurance (which now requires a lower requirement of $10,000) and await approval.
No entry without permission. Historically, it has also taken forever. Waiting times were completely unpredictable and error messages when submitting forms were the norm.
As of June 1st, that all seems to have changed. Thailand passport submissions are typically returned within minutes, not days or weeks. If you have requests for a last minute trip, they are now possible for the first time in years.
Easier steps and a new visitor fee
Thailand has floated plans to abolish the Thailand Passport entirely, but those plans have not come to fruition. Similar ideas to abolish travel health insurance have also been proposed.
If Thailand dropped the “Thailand passport” and compulsory insurance, entry for fully vaccinated visitors would be as easy as booking a flight. For unvaccinated visitors, only one test would be required.
One thing that could remove the health insurance requirement would be the introduction of Thailand’s long-awaited new visitor surcharge.
Thailand currently expects these visitor fees to be introduced sometime between August and September 2022, and the THB300 fee – around US$8.50 – will cover health concerns. Well, so they say.
Thailand trips are getting easier
With the elimination of testing requirements and fast approvals for the Thailand Passport, traveling to Thailand is now easier than it has been in years. Fierce competition from Southeast Asian neighbors such as Laos, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia is lowering entry restrictions by the day.
If you have a last minute trip or want to indulge that spontaneous urge for a mega vacation, now you can.
Thailand is amazing from north to south and prices on hotels, food and tours remain surprisingly good as the country reopens. You can’t say that in Europe right now!