No more proof of vaccination or testing as Thailand fully opens to SA visitors

Long-tail boats lined up along Railay Beach in Thailand. Photo for The Washington Post by Lily Radziemski

Long-tail boats lined up along Railay Beach in Thailand. Photo for The Washington Post by Lily Radziemski

Published Oct 6, 2022


The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that international travellers to Thailand, including South Africans, will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or Antigen Self-Test Kit (ATK) test results, and a longer length of stay will be on offer, signalling the completion of the kingdom’s full reopening to international tourism.

These travel requirements are effective from October 1 until 31 March 2023, and the period of stay in Thailand will be extended to 45 days from 30 days for tourists from countries or territories entitled to visa exemption, and to 30 days (from 15 days) for those eligible for a Visa on Arrival (VOA).

TAT Governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said Thailand has fully reopened to the world’s tourists with the message, through the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign, that our fascinating destination offers something for everyone under the ‘From A-Z: Amazing Thailand Has It All’ concept.

“We invite tourists to come and experience the existing and new tourism offerings in Thailand, which, together with the kingdom’s increasing move towards sustainable and responsible tourism, will make for a truly memorable holiday,” said Supasorn.

Thailand began a carefully planned gradual reopening to international tourism from 1 July 2021, with the Phuket Sandbox, Samui Plus, and 7+7 Extension programmes. This was followed by a four-phase reopening timeline from October 2021 to January 2022, in which destinations throughout the country reopened to tourists.

On 1 July 2022 came the removal of the Thailand Pass registration scheme, and foreign nationals as of then only had to show proof of vaccination or a negative ATK test result within 72 hours of travel.

According to travel stats, between January and August 2022, Thailand welcomed over 12 000 South Africans to its shores which is only expected to increase with the latest announcement that the country has fully reopened.

Now, with the kingdom fully reopened, international visitor arrivals are on the rise, international events and local festivals are being held, and major international and regional airlines are resuming flights from countries around the world.

The resumption of flights to Thailand from all over the world, together with the return to pre-pandemic entry requirements, and the extension of stay periods for tourists, have all come in time for the kingdom’s high season, which runs from October to March.

“As one of the world’s favourite holiday destinations, Thailand is pleased to be welcoming tourists back. While they can once again enjoy a fun, fascinating and rewarding holiday, they are asked to please remain vigilant and to continue to abide by health and safety standards,” said the tourism body.

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