Good news for those traveling to Thailand; mask, pre-registration process lifted

Thailand announced on June 17 that it would lift its much-criticized pre-registration process for foreign visitors from July 1.

The “Thailand Pass” system, whereby foreign tourists had to request permission from the Thai authorities in advance.

Tourism Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan told reporters that the Thailand Pass system will be scrapped from July 1, removing one of the country’s last remaining travel restrictions.

Apart from this, all travelers also no longer need to purchase travel insurance to enter Thailand, CNA has quoted the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) as saying.

Masks are still recommended for the general public but are not required outside unless the area is crowded or not well ventilated.

However, visitors now only need to carry vaccine certificates or undergo COVID testing on arrival.

Before social gatherings, CCSA spokesperson Taweesin Visanuyothin said rapid antigen testing is only necessary for individuals with respiratory symptoms.

“The antigen test will only be performed in suspected cases showing respiratory symptoms. In case of gatherings with more than 2,000 people, please inform the infectious disease commission in the provinces or in Bangkok to monitor and prevent the transmission,” said he.

On Friday, CCSA also said there were 348,699 international arrivals to Thailand between June 1 and June 15, with the majority of travelers coming from Malaysia, India, Singapore, Vietnam and the US.

In 2019, Thailand was visited by nearly 40 million people, but after the COVID outbreak, the world’s most popular travel destinations came to a standstill.

But as the pandemic eased, the tourism-dependent kingdom gradually saw restrictions eased to increase visitor numbers. Last year, the country saw less than 1 percent of tourists than in 2019, despite the easing of quarantine requirements.

According to government data, there were more than 1.6 million foreign tourists in the first six months of 2022, with foreign tourist receipts at 99.7 billion baht.

Thailand suffered a total of more than 30,000 COVID-19 deaths, but has largely contained outbreaks, aided by a vaccination rate of more than 80 percent.

(With input from agencies)

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