Thailand To Remain Closed To Travellers Until 2021

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
Thailand To Remain Closed To Travellers Until 2021

While most countries are trying to bounce back to normalcy, and reopen to tourism, Thailand will not be one of them. Thailand has been one of the most sought-after travel destinations for beach lovers and adventure junkies alike. However, tourists will have to wait a bit longer before planning their next trip to Thailand.

So, in case you’re planning to explore the night markets of Bangkok or the mountains of Chiang Mai for New Year, you might have to shelf your plans. At a webinar held recently, the deputy governor for international marketing at TAT, Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, said there was “no talk of a timeline issued for reopening the country to inbound or outbound leisure travel during weekly Covid-19 national meetings”.

Also Read: A Detailed Vegetarian’s Guide For Indians For Eating & Drinking In Thailand

Why The Decision

Although the country reopened borders to international flights, only certain category of people were permitted to enter. Foreigners with work permits, residency or families in the country are permitted to enter Thailand. However, leisure travel will not reopen anytime soon, according to Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, a deputy governor at the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of Thailand’s tourism earlier said that the country will welcome travellers from other countries ‘only if the situation improved’. He also added that this was not the time to ease down restrictions. “We have to look at the country of origin [of visitors] to see if their situation has truly improved. And lastly, we have to see whether our own business operators are ready to receive tourists under the ‘new normal,” he said.

Also Read: Thousands Of Captive Elephants In Thailand To Face Starvation As Tourism Collapses

Plans Of Travel Bubbles Are Also Shelved

Earlier, Thailand had plans to enter travel agreements with low risk countries. However, the plans have now been shelved. The list of countries included Vietnam, Australia (mostly Melbourne), Japan, and New Zealand. Unfortunately, all these potential countries have had recent spikes, which led to Thailand shelving air bubbles with them. Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority also added that the Kingdom’s borders will not reopen for the time being.

Who Can Enter Thailand Now?

As of today, Thailand permits entry only for certain category of people. Here’s a list of people who can enter Thailand now:

  1. Diplomats
  2. UN officials
  3. Business people
  4. Investors who have an agreement with the government
  5. Film crews
  6. Migrant workers
  7. Medical tourists
  8. Exhibition personnel
  9. Holders of Thailand Elite visas

There is a strict cap on the number of people arriving, including Thais. All travellers landing must spend 14 days in state sanctioned quarantine.

Also read: My Detailed 3-Day Itinerary To Koh Samui, Thailand

The Positives

Well, no one can deny the fact that businesses have suffered big time due to the pandemic. But, if we have to look at the positives, there’s a lot to be happy about too. And this is applicable to Thailand as well. Animals have been returning to land, which was earlier invaded by humans. For the first time in six years, green turtles laid eggs at beaches in Koh Samui. Read the full story here.