Thailand SHA hotel ranking system explained
When booking a trip to Thailand, you’re bound to come across the phrase “SHA Plus” or “SHA Extra Plus accommodation”.
If you’re wondering what exactly these letters mean, then read on for a crash course.
The three-letter acronym refers to the Safety and Health Administration (SHA), the body that certifies these places based on a three-tiered ranking system. As for the “Plus” or “Extra Plus” suffixes, those are the grades the government agency has given the place.
Here’s a quick guide on the different tiers that Thailand’s hotel ranking system offers and what they mean.
More expat-centric guides by TSL:
Establishments that are SHA-recognised are those that meet the hygiene protocols set out by the Safety and Health Administration, as published in Tourism Thailand.
Image credit: The Chapt
In addition to hotels, there are nine other enterprises eligible for a certification, according to their website:
- Department stores
- Tourist Attractions
- Health & Beauty
- Sports for Tourism
- Souvenir Shops
To receive accreditation from the administration, businesses need to meet a number of health standards. For reference, here’s a screenshot from the first page of requirements for hotels via the Safety and Health Administration’s website.
Screenshot: Safety and Health Administration
Just a few of the requirements that these hotels have to meet include:
- Take the temperature of staff members and guests at entry points
- If an individual’s temperature is higher than 37.5°C, they may not enter
- Permit only masked individuals onto the premises
- Have a screening point in place at every entrance
- Provide proper ventilation
- Make sure that those in designated service and waiting areas are at least 1M apart from each other
- Clean public facillities every two hours
You get the picture: to be certified by the Safety & Health Administration, a place needs to bring their ‘A’ game. However, following the above measures will only give businesses a base-level of recognition from the administration, as opposed to a “Plus” or “Extra Plus” accreditation level.
Here are the other two tiers that recognised businesses can achieve and what they mean.
SHA Plus +
To receive a SHA Plus (SHA+) certification, the establishment must meet the aforementioned standards as well as have at least 70% of their staff fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as written by Pohchae.
Image credit: Supalai Scenic Bay Resort And Spa
Furthermore, SHA+ businesses are required to prevent unvaccinated employees from interacting closely with visitors, as mentioned in TimeOut Bangkok.
To browse and book your stay in one of these hotels, you can browse through the extensive list on SHA Thailand’s website.
SHA Extra Plus+
The SHA Extra Plus (SHA++) rating is only given to accommodations that meet the SHA Plus standards and are partnered with approved hospitals to provide an RT-PCR test, according to Thaiest.
Participants in the Test & Go programme must book their one-night quarantine and tests at these hotels.
*Note: As of 21st December 2021, the Test & Go scheme has been halted temporarily.*
Screenshot: Thailand SHA
Often times, establishments in this tier offer packages that cover visitors’ stay, hotel transfer as well as testing. Here’s a list with some all-inclusive options.
Travel safely and comfortably
Over recent years, governments and travel providers have worked very hard to adapt to the current situation. For instance, they’ve created a an agency with a system that ensures businesses frequented by tourists meet the hygiene standards set by health officials.
Hopefully, these guidelines and rankings will give travellers a sense of ease and confidence on their next trip to Thailand.
We’re crossing our fingers for the return of minimal-quarantine travel and are excited to once again welcome tourists to our nation safely.
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