Thailand To Ease Travel Rules From 1st April, Time To Crash The Songkran Water Festival

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Thailand eases travel rules from 1st April 2022

After withholding its Songkran celebrations for the past 2 years, it seems like Thailand’s one step closer to finally bringing it back.

With global travel restrictions easing up and the annual Songkran Festival approaching from 13th to 15th April, the Land of Smiles seems open to tourists joining in their festivities, thanks to slight easing of travel rules in Thailand in the coming months.

Now, here’s what you need to know about the relaxed rules starting 1 April 2022.

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Trademark “water-splashing” allowed in Covid-19 free environments

As for how Songkran festivities will play out, the trademark “water-splashing” by participants will be allowed in controlled environments that are considered Covid-19 free.

Thailand travel rulesImage credit: CatEdwards1

While this year’s festivals have restrictions in place to prevent another bout of infections, traditional celebrations such as pouring water on Buddhist statues or over the hands of the elderly to show respect will be allowed.

Image credit: it:Kaangy

So for those of you who’ve been controlling your wanderlust for a Bangkok getaway this Songkran season, here’s an update on the travel requirements starting 1st April 2022. 

No more pre-flight PCR test to enter Thailand

Just as before, there are still three entry schemes for international arrivals: 

  1. TEST & GO
  2. Sandbox Programme
  3. Alternative Quarantine

As of 1st April, international travellers from any one of these travel schemes will now be allowed to enter Thailand without the need to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of travel.

Image credit: asiandelight

However, there are still 2 tests required for travellers under the TEST & GO and Sandbox programmes: RT-PCR test upon arrival (Day 0) and an antigen self-test on Day 5.  

Do prepare yourselves for these mandatory tests just as you arrive in the Land of Smiles.

Of course, for those of you who are longing to experience Songkran in different cities, Thailand has also reduced the compulsory stay requirements for those coming in via the Sandbox Programme.

Travel within Thailand after 5 days via Sandbox

If you can’t decide which city to experience Songkran in, city-hopping to different parts of Thailand could do the trick.

Image credit: aluxum

Travellers landing in Sandbox destinations can now look forward to a 5-day window before visiting another city. This is down from 7 days originally.

While 2 days might not seem like a huge difference to some, you can still consider city-hopping to celebrate Songkran both down south in Phuket and also, all the way up north in Chiang Mai.

Image credit: last19

As for any unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers who wish to visit via the Alternative Quarantine programme, fret not as changes have also been made to quarantine requirements.

Alternative Quarantine (AQ) requirements have been reduced to 5 days

Travellers under the Alternative Quarantine programme are now simply required to spend a mandatory 5 nights in a quarantine hotel, reports Thaiger.

Thailand travel rulesImage credit: Panuwat Dangsungnoen

There will also be mandatory RT-PCR tests on Day 1 and Day 5 before you can travel to other destinations in Thailand. This is great news as it is down from what was previously a 7 day quarantine for vaccinated travellers and 10 days for unvaccinated travellers.

With these new changes, you not only save on costs but can also start your holidays sooner than before!

At this point, if you are wondering if these rules apply to your form of travel, we got your back.

New entry points into Thailand like Hat Yai, Satun and Surat Thani

It doesn’t matter if you are arriving by a car, by boat or by air – these relaxed rules have extended to different points of entry. 

For those of you flying into Thailand, you can choose from any of the 8 approved airports here:

  • Don Mueang 
  • Suvarnabhumi
  • Phuket
  • Krabi
  • Samui
  • Chiang Mai
  • U-Tapao
  • Hat Yai (new)

Meanwhile, land border checkpoints have been increased from 3 to 4, now including: Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Songkhla, and Satun (new). While, water points of entry have also increased from 2 to 3 provinces, now including: Phuket, Chon Buri, and Surat Thani (new).

Time to book your tickets now that Thailand travel rules have eased

Image credit: yupiyan

The Songkran Festival is traditionally one of the most happening celebrations in Thailand. Hence, with these restrictions easing up just as the festival approaches, we hope it’s the start of the return of global travel in a big way.

If you’ve already booked your tickets and are you’re unsure of your itinerary, we’ve done your research for you. Pick from these hidden gems all around Thailand from new night markets in Bangkok to mountain resorts with bubble domes all the way up in Chiang Mai.

Cover images adapted from: Thaiger, Apiwan Borrikonratchata, Agoda 

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