On the night of January 7 to 8, Russian airlines received an updated NOTAM, just a day after the previous telegram. According to the text of the new message, entry into Thailand from January 9 will be possible not only with a vaccination certificate, but also with a PCR test. There is no official order yet. It is expected on Monday, January 9.
Airlines received a new telegram (NOTAM) on January 8, updating the previous planned entry rules for Thailand, which were announced on January 7. The new data states that tourists unable to provide a vaccination certificate will be required to be tested for covid upon arrival in Thailand.
Thus, the telegram to airlines dated January 7, where they were supposed to let only vaccinated tourists on board, is no longer relevant.
FROM JANUARY 9, IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO COME TO THAILAND WITHOUT A VACCINATION CERTIFICATE
First AZUR air became the Russian airline that updated the rules on its website. The data on the S7 website has also been updated. At the same time, the data on the Aeroflot website has not yet been updated.
“Dear passengers! From January 9, 2023, flying to Thailand will be possible not only upon presentation of a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery, but also upon passing a PCR test upon arrival in Thailand. These rules apply to passengers over 18 years old,” AZUR air reports with reference to the received updated NOTAM.
There is NO DETAILED INFORMATION ON TESTS FOR COVID YET
The S7 website provides information that a covid test upon arrival will be paid. The cost is 200 baht (430 rubles). Moreover, according to the S7 website, testing will be selective. Information about what format the test itself will be and what will happen to tourists who receive a positive result is not yet available. These and other questions will be removed by an official order, the publication of which is expected on Monday, January 9.
WHAT WITH MEDICAL INSURANCE
The situation with insurance remains unclear. In the new NOTAM, information on them does not differ from the previous telegram. It said this:
“Tourists arriving from countries whose regulations do not allow return to the country in case of infection with COVID -19 must have health insurance covering the rest period and +7 more days.”
At the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) asked to wait for an official order with all the nuances of the new entry rules. Including from it, the answer to the question of whether such insurance is mandatory for Russians should become clear.
Note that there are still no changes in the rules for entering Thailand on the website of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“All covid restrictions have been lifted from September 30, 2022,” the IATA website so far reports. Probably the information there will also be updated after the publication of the official order in Thailand.
WHAT DOES THE CERTIFICATE EXPIRY
Whether certificates with an expired validity period (more than 1 year) are suitable is not yet known. Nothing is explicitly said about this in the NOTAM text.
If we take the entry rules that existed during the pandemic, then Thailand did not have conditions for limiting the validity period. How it will be this time is still unclear.
At the same time, S7 Airlines has already informed its passengers that it will not impose a “1 year” requirement on the validity of the certificate.
“Vaccination can be done at any time (even more than a year ago), but not earlier than than 14 days before entering Thailand,” the carrier's website says.
VARIABILITY IN ENTRANCE CONDITIONS IS GOOD NEWS FOR TOURISTS AND TOUR OPERATORS
In any case, the ability to replace a vaccination certificate with a PCR test is great news, especially for tourists who do not have certificates and plan to fly to Thailand in the coming days.
Otherwise, if a vaccination certificate were the only prerequisite, this would lead to numerous cancellations of purchased tours.
At the same time, experts do not exclude that and the current restrictions, even with tests for covid upon arrival, will significantly reduce the Russian tourist flow to the country (especially against the backdrop of many countries where there have been no restrictions for a long time).