Thailand Scraps Reduced Quarantine For Incoming Travelers, Resets Isolation Rule Back To 14 Days Effective May 6, 2021

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The Thai Government has just cancelled the 6 week old relaxation to the Incoming Travel Quarantine Rules which meant a reduction of the hotel quarantine to 7 days for arrivals that have already received a vaccine and 10 days for all others.

New rules have already been posted to some embassies website abroad, outlining that the reduced jail time is no more and it’s back to 14 days for everyone arriving from May 6th onward.

There are a number of new rules in effect starting on Saturday May 1st and many will find themselves on the short end of the stick especially since the reductions were just announced six weeks ago on March 8th.

Individuals who have already received their COE prior to May 1, 2021 and arrive until the end of May 5th will be able to retain their originally designated Quarantine of 7-10 days. Arrivals from May 6th until further noticed will be reset to 14 days quarantine no matter what.

This notice is from the Royal Thai Embassy in Stockholm:

The change will have significant influence on the comfort and especially the cost of the quarantine. I wouldn’t be surprised if many decide to cancel their travel plans to Thailand based on these new requirements. Hotels will definitely in many case double the cost of the ASQ package.

Thailand has also banned arrivals from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh entirely until further notice due to the dire situation with the new Covid variants in these countries.

All this comes on the heels of Covid infection rates spiraling somewhat out of control in Thailand as well. After being very lucky for a year the Thai government has lost grip on the situation and has made a series of missteps in recent 4-6 weeks that proved to be very costly including allowing music festivals and allowing questionable nightclubs to reopen where cluster after cluster emerged and subsequently spread throughout the country.

The government also actively promoted cross country travel during the recent Songkran holidays rather than doing damage control. So after a year of extreme luck the authorities were totally unprepared for a possible outbreak with a shortage in hospital rooms for Covid positive patients who are now being forcibly interned in Army field hospitals, sleeping on cardboard beds. There are no notable vaccine efforts in the country either, let alone with those of reputable manufacturers. Sad!

After a few attempts to curb the numbers failed Bangkok as well as other highest control provinces (red zones) will enter a new lockdown period on Saturday that sees further venues closed including restaurants for sit down dining.

All remaining venues such as gyms, pools, spas, bars and even public parks have already been closed this week. Shopping malls are still open and instead of in outdoor parks people are now lingering in the mall reading books etc – very smart move, NOT!

At this point I think it’s crystal clear that the Phuket Sandbox plan where the government planned to open the island and letting vaccinated people arrive without any quarantine from July 1st is pretty much dead in the water, throwing yet another long shadow on the 2021 tourism revenue numbers.

Conclusion

The quarantine required that has been reduced since mid March and just been in place for a few weeks have suddenly been scrapped by the Thai government. All arrivals from May 6th will undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine again at their own expense (except for those Thai citizens who are being repatriated from abroad through embassy flights). The vaccination status of the traveler is irrelevant.

As this might be extremely costly I suggest to consider all sides of the medal before going ahead with your Thailand trip at this time. Until further notice there won’t be any tourism activities or even normal daily activities for locals and it makes little to no sense to travel to Thailand in the next four weeks (at a minimum). I’d strongly consider postponing my travel plan for the time being as it doesn’t make any sense being here right now.

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