Thailand now open to all travelers – restrictions still apply

File photo of Bangkok’s Khaosan Road. Photo: Aapo Haapanen / Flickr
File photo of Bangkok’s Khaosan Road. Photo: Aapo Haapanen / Flickr

All citizens of the world may now travel to Thailand under a cabinet-approved expansion of a special, long-term tourism visa.

Due to disappointing domestic tourism and the so-called Special Tourist Visa’s success in welcoming a whopping 825 tourists (40 million entered in 2019) from 29 countries so far, the government removed the condition that only welcomed those from places at low-risk of COVID, government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek said yesterday. 

It also applies to those who arrive on cruises and by yacht as well as long-stay athletes.

The special visa, introduced earlier this year for potential stays of up to nine months, comes with an onerous and costly raft of restrictions and requirements to follow, making it only for the most committed travelers.

Its expansion comes as Thailand is contending with the specter of a long-thwarted second wave. So far, two people have contracted COVID-19 from 44 Thai workers who returned or sneaked back into the country after an outbreak hit their brothel just across the border in Myanmar. Over a dozen of them evaded border and quarantine controls and traveled widely throughout the country.

As of today, health officials have reported 4,151 cases and 60 deaths since the pandemic began in January.


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