travel

Thailand will reintroduce visa-free travel on February 1st

Travelers planning to visit Thailand in 2022 should rejoice. Thailand will resume a quarantine-free travel scheme for international visitors on February 1st, according to the latest reports. According to officials in the know, the kingdom’s tourism-dominated economy suffered greatly after the programme was suspended due to an increase in Omicron cases, as visitor numbers dropped to a trickle.

According to reports, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to enter the country under the Test and Go scheme, and will be required to take COVID tests on their first and fifth days in the country. Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the country’s COVID-19 taskforce, stated this.

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As a result, travellers will be required to isolate themselves in a hotel while awaiting their test results, as well as download a tracking app to ensure that they follow the rules. Thailand launched the Test and Go scheme in November as an alternative to two weeks of hotel quarantine in an effort to boost the country’s economic performance.

Travelers planning to visit Thailand
Travelers planning to visit Thailand

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The programme was suspended late last month after the country reported an increase in Omicron cases. However, with hospitalizations not increasing, the spokesperson added that the programme could be resumed, though the authorities will keep an eye on it. In the event that the situation changes or more infections emerge, he said, inbound travellers will be reassessed and the sandbox scheme will be adjusted.

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Fully vaccinated visitors were allowed to spend seven nights in certain designated locations, such as the resort island of Phuket, before being allowed to travel to the rest of Thailand under the sandbox programme, which was launched last year.

According to the Tourism Ministry’s estimates, around five million foreign visitors are expected to visit Thailand in 2022, down from nearly 40 million in pre-pandemic levels.

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