Thailand has been extremely cautious on reopening its borders for tourism as the global pandemic continues.

The government of Thailand announced on Thursday the opening of its borders to tourists from across the globe with a catch.

The catch is that there will, be stringent visa policies in place designed to strengthen safety measures.

Thailand is now allowing visitors to apply for a tourist visa (TRV) or a special tourist visa (STV) – both come with a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the government-approved facility.

According to the new protocols, travellers who wish to enter Thailand must have one of the visas and a certificate of entry (COE).

Thailand is open for select tourists under strict protocols to prevent the importation of COVID-19 cases. Being one of the world-leading countries in controlling the virus within its own borders, Thailand is reopening slowly and cautiously to ensure it stays that way.

Tourist can opt for the visas as per the nature of their stay. At present, there are two types of visas applicable for leisure travellers – Tourist Visa (TRV) and Special Tourist Visa (STV).

The tourist visa is issued to tourists wishing to enter Thailand for a shorter period and is valid for a single entry into Thailand. The visa category cannot be changed afterwards. The tourist visa is valid for three months from the date of issuance. Travellers must enter Thailand within the said three-month period. They will be allowed to stay in Thailand for a period of up to 60 days, counting from the date of entry and there is no minimum stay requirement for this visa. An extension is possible for another 30 days, with a maximum period of stay of 90 days, counting from the date of entry. The visa processing fee is approximately THB 1,000 + taxes.

The special tourist visa is valid for a single entry into Thailand for long-term tourism purposes only and is valid for three months from the date of issuance. Travellers must enter Thailand within the said three-month period. They will be allowed to stay in Thailand for a period of up to 90 days, counting from the date of entry and should stay for at least 30 days. STV may be extended twice while the visitor is in Thailand for a period of up to 90 days per each extension. STV cannot be changed to any other type of visa during the duration of stay in Thailand. The visa processing fee is around THB 2,000 + taxes.

How To Apply For The Tourist Visa: TR Visa 

To apply for the certificate of entry travellers must meet the following entry requirements:

TR Visa Requirements:

  • Approved Visa
  • Approved COE (Certificate of Entry)
  • Copy of recent bank statement (AU$1000 per person and $2,000 per family). The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly), In case of submitting a      family bank statement, proof of relationship (i.e. birth certificate,      marriage certificate) must be provided.
  • 14-day‘ state quarantine’ upon arrival
  • All countries may apply
  • Medical insurance that covers COVID-19 with at least US$100,000 coverage for the entire duration of your stay.
  • Proof of alternative state quarantine reservation (ASQ)

How to Apply:

1. Travellers must apply for a visa at the Thai embassy/consulate in their home country

2. Travellers then can apply for the COE on the official Thai Government website.

Long Stay Tourists: STV Visa (Special Tourist Visa)

Thailand announced a 90-day visa for long-stay tourists on September 15th, 2020. The visa is called the ‘Special Tourist Visa’ (STV). Once approved, then travellers can apply for the certificate of entry (COE).

Entry Requirements:

  • Approved Visa
  • Approved COE
  • Proof of payment for 90-day accommodation booking
  • Copy of recent bank statement (AU$1000 per person and $2,000 per family). The name of the applicant must be indicated clearly), In case of submitting a family bank statement, proof of relationship (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate) must be provided.
  • 14-day‘ state quarantine’ upon arrival
  • All countries may apply
  • Medical insurance that covers COVID-19 with at least $100,000 USD in coverage for the entire duration of your stay.
  • Proof      of alternative state quarantine reservation (ASQ)

How to Apply:

1. Travellers must apply for a visa at the Thai embassy/consulate in their home country

2. Travellers then can apply for the COE on the official Thai Government website.

Length of Stay and Renewals

The Special Tourist Visa will allow approved travellers to stay in Thailand for 90 days. It can be renewed twice, for 90 days each time.

Other Travelers Permitted To Enter Thailand

All travellers in the below categories will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Thailand.

  • Medical Tourists: Travelers seeking medical and wellness services may enter Thailand upon receiving an ‘International Flight Permit’ from the Thai      Embassy/Consulate in their home country. A letter from a Thai doctor must be presented when applying.
  • Non-Thai nationals who are a spouse, parents, or children of a Thai national
  • Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid certificate of residence, or permission to take up residence in the Kingdom
  • Foreign workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar for food and construction industries
  • Foreigners participating in trade fairs in Thailand
  • Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid work permit and their spouse or children
  • Foreign film crews coming for filming in Thailand

Travellers that fall into the above categories must also follow Thailand’s health protocols including:

  • Travel health insurance that also covers COVID-19
  • All travellers arriving in Thailand must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR swab test taken within 72 hours prior to the flight
  • A pre-screening health declaration card filled out before departure
  • The wearing of masks mandatory on in-bound flights and in the airport
  • Thermal scans and temperature checks upon arrival

The Thai government made a difficult decision to impose a national lockdown from the end of March until June. This led to the collapse of consumer spending, as hospitality-service providers remained closed or only partially opened for deliveries and takeaways. Together with the absence of foreign visitors and a sharp drop in exports, the Thai economy took a hard hit, resulting in a contraction of -12.2 per cent for the second quarter.

This is indeed great news not only for people that want to travel to Thailand but also for the Thai tourism sector which is a main contributor to the country’s GDP. The country’s tourism sector has taken a massive nosedive because of border restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Written by: Joe Cusmano

 

Source: https://straynomad.com/