Thailand Introduces New Entry Requirements March 2020 (App Required + Visa-On-Arrival Canceled For Many)

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Thailand is making several changes to entry requirements to the Kingdom that are in effect as of March 12, 2020.

Thailand Entry Requirements

All foreign passengers and Thai nationals entering from high-risk destinations are required to have an app on their phones. Visa-on-arrival is canceled from many citizens, and passengers arriving from certain countries need to self-quarantine.

Visa-on-arrival is canceled from number of countries:

  • Bulgaria
  • Bhutan
  • China (includes Taiwan)
  • Cyprus
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Uzbekistan
  • Republic of Vanuatu

Visa-free entry is suspended for:

  • South Korea
  • Italy
  • Hong Kong

Thailand also has requirements for passengers who are departing from the following countries per Cathay Pacific (access their page for coronavirus here):

Effective 11 March 2020, passengers departing from People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong SAR & Macao SAR), Korea, Italy and Iran are required to have the following at check-in:

  • Health insurance document that provides at least USD100,000 coverage in Thailand (not applicable to Thai nationals)
  • Health certificate issued within 48hours of flight depature certifying that they are free of COVID-19 (applicable to all nationalities)

Further, passengers from the above zones will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine upon entering Thailand or the length of their visit (if less than 14-days).

Exemption: Passengers transiting through above countries are exempted from the above requirements

Here’s more information about the required app from the National (access their piece here):

Starting from tomorrow (March 12 ), all foreign tourists arriving at all international airports in Thailand will be required to download an AOT Airports application onto their mobile phones as a measure to contain the spread Covid-19 in the country.

The requirement also applies to Thai returnees from high risk countries.

Once the app is downloaded, they will have to fill in the required information – name, surname, passport ID , mobile phone number, e-mail address and present them to the immigration officials on duty . The information will be stored for 14 days after arrival.

Conclusion

It is soon the second time these coronavirus restrictions are affecting my travels. I had to leave for Japan two days earlier than planned from Hong Kong or otherwise quarantined four 14 days. I had expected to arrive in Thailand from Hong Kong, originally transit that was turned to a stopover due to schedule changes, that now appears to be not possible.

Thailand is heavily dependent on the incoming tourists. Making arrivals more difficult won’t help the country’s hospitality sector.

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