The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has welcomed Thailand’s removal from the UK’s red list. From 4am this morning (11 October), travel from the popular holiday destination will no longer be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine.
“After much speculation this week we are so happy to see Thailand come off the UK’s travel red list,” said Ms. Chiravadee Khunsub, Director of TAT, UK & Ireland.
“It’s a very timely boost for Thailand’s travel industry. We’re heading into peak season with our best weather ahead, particularly along the Andaman coast and insights from our UK tour operators tells us there is huge interest in travel to Thailand and 1,000’s of postponed holidays set to be rebooked both for immediate winter sun getaways and departures in 2022.”
Thailand put in place a ‘Sandbox‘ initiative on 1 July on the popular island of Phuket, where fully vaccinated passengers were allowed holiday on the island without having to undergo a two-week quarantine – so long as they stayed on the island and submitted to three Covid tests.
The programme has seen 41,000 travellers arrive in Phuket resulting in only 135 positive Covid-19 cases.
The ‘Sandbox’ initiative has to date generated $75,000,000 (2.5 billion Thai Baht) for Thailand’s economy with projected revenue of $325,000,000 by the end of 2021.
Where Can I Go in Thailand?
Since 1 October Thailand has eased its entry requirements further still making it even more accessible to those looking for a holiday this year.
All arrivals to Thailand must start their itinerary in a ‘Sandbox’ location* for a minimum of 7 nights (reduced from 14) before being able to visit any other part of the country at their leisure.
“It is now possible for travellers to enjoy classic Thailand itineraries again such as Phuket – Bangkok – Chiang Mai and experience beaches, the capital city and the mountainous and rural north. This gives tour operators and British travellers much more choice and flexibility now and opens up island hopping opportunities and multicentre itineraries again” said Khunsub.
Travellers must stay in SHA+ accommodation for the first 7 nights of which there are over 5,000 approved hotels listed ranging from budget stays to luxury. Travellers have freedom in their chosen arrival destination and are free to spend time at the beach, sightsee, take day trips and tours and dine out (they are not confined to hotel quarantine).
A two week itinerary this winter, for example, could include 7 nights Phuket followed by 3 nights Bangkok and 4 nights Chiang Mai.
Back to Bangkok
From November, Thailand’s reopening plans will extend further still (exact details TBC) with other popular locations becoming accessible entry points meaning travellers can arrive into and start their itinerary in the likes of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin.
By the end of the year a large proportion of the country will be accessible including historical sites such as Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai, Sukhothai and hidden gem beaches such as Khanom, Trat and Trang.
TAT has also just announced a one-year extension of the ‘special tourist visa’ (STV) scheme for long-staying visitors until 30 September 2022 which allows long stays from 90-270 days.