It’s been a long time since the question, “Where should I go next?” was a common lament. However, as immunisation programmes become more widely available, many of us intend to travel again in the near future, if not immediately.
With that in mind, the Thai government says it will re-open the country’s border with Malaysia from next month, in an effort to kickstart the recovery of tourism and the economy in the southern provinces. This is due to the fact that Malaysian tourists were Thailand’s most frequent visitors prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.
As part of plans to reopen the Songkhla, Narathiwat, Yala, and Satun border posts after a prolonged closure, the COVID-19 administration and the tourism industry have been tasked with developing and outlining mitigating strategies.
Thailand plans to implement a travel bubble arrangement with Malaysia, under which vaccinated tourists could arrive under the Test & Go entry scheme without having to quarantine.
What you need to know about Thailand’s “Test & Go” Entry Programme
- Be fully vaccinated (unvaccinated children below 12 years old have to be accompanied by a fully-vaccinated person aged 18 or above).
- Take two COVID-19 tests, once upon arrival in Thailand, and another on the fifth day.
- Travellers must apply for a Thailand Pass before entering the kingdom.
- Travellers must purchase medical insurance with a minimum coverage of USD50,000 (approximately RM209,345) and have a COVID-19 test result 72 hours before travelling.
- Travellers have to pre-book SHA Extra certified hotel and RT-PCR COVID-19 tests for Day 1 and Day 5.
In November 2021, Thailand welcomed fully vaccinated travellers from 63 countries and territories, however, the programme was halted in late December due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
It was restarted on 1 February, 2022. Thailand’s border with Malaysia was closed in March 2020.