Thailand to scrap mask policy & Thailand Pass for tourists
Thailand’s travel requirements have shown signs of a gradual relaxation in the past few months. With the pre-flight RT-PCR test requirement being scrapped, and mandatory insurance coverage being reduced, the most recent update was the removal of on-arrival Covid-19 tests.
The good news is that Thailand’s government has just announced that come 1st July, visitors and locals might be able to go mask-free in public. Tourists may also not have to go through the hoops of applying for a Thailand Pass anymore. Here’s the deets of what we know so far, and why it could herald the return of pre-Covid travel in a big way in our region.
Places to bookmark for your next trip to Thailand:
- Chiang Rai has a tea farm with Yunnan vibes
- Z1mplex Mixology Laboratory in Phuket has edible art
- Hat Chao Mai is a hidden park with coral-studded diving spots
Thailand aims to scrap mask-wearing and Thailand Pass system from 1st July 2022
On 17th June 2022, authorities announced that a proposal has been submitted for travellers to no longer be required to wear face masks in public, citing reasons that include a slowing spread of Covid-19 among communities, according to Reuters.
If all goes well, the pre-requisite of applying for a Thailand Pass to enter the country, will be scrapped for tourists in favour of more relaxed travel restrictions from 1st July 2022, cited Prachachat. These initially included securing Covid-19 health insurance, and proving your vaccination status with certificates being uploaded to an online system.
This bold move was confirmed by the Tourism Minister, Mr Pipat Ratchakitprakan on Friday.
Face masks would be voluntary from July
Previously, travellers were expected to purchase Covid-19 travel insurance polices – with minimum values of US$10,000 – and to foot their own bills for treatment, said Prime Minister Prayut in April. All of which had to be proven and submitted online, in order to get a Thailand Pass to enter the country.
This process will now be streamlined in order to encourage more tourists to travel to Thailand, and boost the tourism sector’s recovery.
Travellers will instead be asked to show their vaccination certificates before boarding flights to the airline, during the check-in process, according to BangkokBizNews.
The wearing of face masks in public will be “voluntary” from July, but citizens are encouraged to continue wearing face masks to protect themselves in “crowded settings”. As for events with over 2,000 participants, they’ll still be advised to don a face mask to curb any outbreaks.
The same goes if citizens, residents or tourists are experiencing symptoms or have contagious illnesses, reported Reuters.
Pre-Covid travel seems to be returning
With these restrictions slowly relaxing, it’s safe to say that Thailand seems to be moving even closer towards pre-Covid travel norms.
We’re hopeful that with everyone’s cooperation, tourism-based providers will soon be able to welcome customers as well as see a boost in their livelihoods.
Until then, let’s continue to keep ourselves and everyone else safe. Of course, we’re also psyched for mask-free travel to The Land of Smiles once more.
Cover images adapted from (L-R): Hotels.com