Thailand has apparently already made a decision to tighten entry conditions for foreign tourists. The reason is the resumption of mass travel from China and fears of a new spread of COVID-19. Airlines and host companies of tour operators in Thailand have received the texts of the new rules, although there is still no official order (at 16.00 Moscow time). Let's talk about what is known.
A little more than three months after the complete lifting of restrictions on entry into Thailand, the authorities of the kingdom are forced to return restrictive measures. The official reason is the return of Chinese tourists.
THAILAND RETURNS ENTRY RESTRICTIONS FROM JANUARY 9 TO JANUARY 31
The official order on covid restrictions in the royal newspaper of Thailand has not yet been published (at 16.00 Moscow time on January 7), but foreign and Russian airlines (AZUR air) and some host companies of a number of tour operators in Thailand have already received new rules and published them on their websites.
According to this information, starting January 9, 2023 from 01:00 local time, for entry into Thailand all foreign tourists over 18 years, they will need a vaccination certificate or a certificate of past illness.
They will need to present one of the following documents (all must be in English) to choose from :
- Certificate of vaccination (from the State Services, not paper from the clinic) confirming receipt of a full vaccination against COVID-19. The last dose must be taken no earlier than 14 days before arrival. Of the Russian vaccines, both Sputnik V and the one-component Sputnik Light are on the list of approved vaccines.
- Certificate of recovery from COVID -19 received no earlier than 180 days before departure.
- Certificate of medical exemption from vaccination for health reasons. The certificate must indicate the reason for the contraindication to vaccination.
Tourists arriving from countries whose rules do not allow return to the country in case of infection with COVID -19 must have medical insurance covering the period of rest and +7 more days.
IMPORTANT: There is no official statute of limitations for vaccines in Thailand. And this means that for a trip you can use, for example, a certificate two years ago. But the fact is that although the Thai documents do not really mention the statute of limitations, this does not mean at all that, for example, that these terms do not exist in the understanding of Thai officials in principle.
An electronic certificate (even an expired one) is stored at the State Services, it can be printed in English if the passport details are entered in the profile.
However, taking into account the fact that certificates are valid for 1 year in Russia, a reasonable question arises “what rules will Russian airlines adhere to”: it is likely that employees at the check-in desk may approach the issue voluntaristically, and out of fear “whatever happens” accept expired certificates. Everything will depend in the end on the text of the instructions that the airlines will receive from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand and their exact wording.
It is only known for certain that transit tourists traveling through Thailand will not need a vaccination certificate at all (as well as tourists under 18).
TOURISTS WITH DEPARTURES AFTER JANUARY 31 ARE RECOMMENDED TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATES
< p>The new rules will be in effect until January 31, from which many have drawn the very controversial conclusion that “this is not for long.”
But it is quite obvious that further these rules will simply be “portionedly” extended, so we strongly recommend that tourists with departures after January 31 take care of obtaining vaccination certificates or renewing expired ones. MANY TOURS FOR THE COMING DATES
Tour operators working in the direction ambiguously perceived the incoming information about innovations, but stated that the new rules, if they are officially confirmed by order of the authorities of the kingdom, will unequivocally lead to a significant reduction in volumes tourist flow to Thailand, which has just picked up a good pace.
The fact is that most of the vaccination certificates for Russians ended in November-December 2022. Since March 2022, the country has de facto curtailed the vaccination campaign and even the production of a number of vaccines.
Even in Moscow, in a number of administrative districts, vaccination against covid is now carried out by appointment in 1-2 clinics for the entire district, in which can be easily seen on mos.ru. That is, it is not easy for Russians to get vaccinated, and sometimes it is simply unrealistic, especially in a short time.
Tourists who are due to travel to Thailand in the coming days, but do not have vaccination certificates, have found themselves in a particularly difficult situation. In this case, we will talk about cancellation or rebooking of purchased tours.
Tour operators will inform about the conditions for cancellations and rebooking a little later (until even an official order has been published). We emphasize once again that there is NO official information from the Russian office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand yet.