It’s not a stretch to say that the travel and tourism industry bore the hardest brunt of the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. Countries shut down their borders as circumstances worsened and people went into quarantine.
But as the situation slowly gets better and the rules gradually relax, countries are starting to open their borders to awaiting travellers.
After Dubai and Maldives, Thailand is now welcoming tourists from all over the world, including India. The country followed strict COVID guidelines at the onset on the pandemic and is now keen to accept foreigners within its borders, provided all its official travel and visa related criteria are met.
The Thai Government has issued a Special Tourist Visa scheme for all travellers. Under this scheme, you can stay in Thailand for or up to 90 days and also be allowed to extend your stay twice. There are certain terms and conditions you have to adhere to avail of this visa.
- All tourists going to Thailand must contact the Thai embassy or consulates in their country to hand in their visa application along with required documents.
- You will need to show proof of funds with the documents you submit, wherein you have to have at least THB 2,04,000 (Rs. 5 lacs) per person in your bank account in order to qualify for the visa.
- You will also be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result declaring you are COVID free 72 hours prior to departing your country of origin.
- Travellers will have to undergo a second test once they land if their temperature is over 37.5 °C with coughing, sneezing, or shortness of breath.
- The Special Tourist Visa costs THB 2000 which is equivalent to Rs. 4895 for Indians.
- If you test COVID positive, you will be referred to a hospital in Thailand. But even if you test negative, to ensure everyone’s safety, all visitors have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period in Alternative State Quarantines (ASQ) which are basically certified hotels in Bangkok and nearby provinces, chosen especially for new arrivals in the country.
- A medical team will visit you for a swab test frequently during your period in quarantine. After you have completed your quarantine, you are free to travel anywhere in Thailand.
- There will be a tracking system which you will be required to keep with you the entire duration of your visit to the country.
Note, your quarantine is ASQ will be at your own expense. Further, if you are looking for a short and sweet leisure trip, Thailand is not your destination, given its 14-day quarantine rules for all foreign arrivals.
For those of you keen to visit this beautiful country, I’ll simply say cheers! You can now go visit any time you want. Be sure to share your experience with us once you return.
Information source: tatnews.org