Entry Thailand Frequently Asked Questions

Planning a Trip to Thailand during COVID-19: Important Things Travellers Need to Know


A user-friendly checklist of points covering before, during, and after travelling to Thailand under various entry arrangements, including the alternative quarantine system and the ‘Sandbox’ pilot reopening programmes.

The TAT Newsroom has compiled the relevant entry requirements during the current COVID-19 travel restrictions for international travellers planning a trip to Thailand, including Thai nationals and foreign expatriates returning from overseas. Kindly note that this information is to serve as reference only, and it is especially important to check in regularly on www.tatnews.org to stay current on what remains a very fluid and fast changing situation.

1. Before You Arrive

1.1 Travel Advisories

Q: What is the latest update on Thailand’s COVID-19 situation and nationwide prevention efforts?

A: See Thailand Tourism Updates, containing Thailand’s tourism information and some useful tips for visitors to the kingdom especially when there are issues concerning travelling in general.

1.2 Planning Your Visit

Q: What are the countries and territories from where travellers may enter Thailand?

A: Thailand is now open to travellers from any countries and territories from around the world.

Q: What are the entry options for international travellers planning a trip to Thailand?

A: There are currently two entry options for travellers from overseas.

Alternative Quarantine (AQ) system

International air travellers will be subject to a 7- to 10-night quarantine at their own expense at one of the approved Alternative Quarantine (AQ) facilities (http://www.hsscovid.com/) in Bangkok and 12 other provinces – Buri Ram, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Krabi, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Phang-Nga, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Surat Thani, and Tak.

Those fully vaccinated will be subject to a 7-night quarantine, and those who haven’t been fully vaccinated will be subject to a 10-night quarantine. Children under the age of 18 travelling with fully vaccinated parents are all subject to a seven-night quarantine.

Sandbox pilot reopening programmes

Fully vaccinated international air travellers – 18 years of age and older – can enter Thailand with no need to quarantine, but they are required to stay for 7 nights at SHA Plus-certified hotel/s within the approved destinations, which are Phuket and the designated areas in Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Tao), Phang-Nga (Khao Lak and Ko Yao), and Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay Beach).

Q: What are the entry requirements under the AQ system?

A: Travellers must apply online for a Certificate of Entry (COE) via https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/, using the following documents:

  1. A passport with at least 6 months validity.
  2. Valid visa or re-entry permit, except passport holders of countries/territories entitled to a 30-day visa exemption (see list).
  3. Copy of an insurance policy, which should cover the cost of the treatment and other medical expenses associated with being infected with COVID-19, including in-patient hospitalisation, with coverage clearly identified as no less than US$100,000 for the whole duration in Thailand. *Kindly print the insurance certificate and all pages of the terms and conditions on the COVID-19 coverage and medical benefits – the document must be in English – to avoid being denied boarding or entry.
  4. Copy of the confirmed AQ hotel booking (or AHQ and permission from the Ministry of Public Health in case of medical treatment). Booking for AQ hotels for quarantine can be made directly with the approved hotel (see the list of hotels at http://www.hsscovid.com/) or through the following websites:
    1. https://www.agoda.com/quarantineth
    2. https://asq.locanation.com/
    3. https://asq.ascendtravel.com
    4. https://entrythailand.go.th/

Kindly apply for the COE at least 2-4 weeks before travelling, and allow 6 working days to complete the process. Applicants will be notified of the application result if you have provided a valid email when you register.

Travellers also need to have the following advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry.

  • • To be eligible for a 7-night quarantine, travellers should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by the Ministry of Public Health (see list) or the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before their travel date. Travellers who have recovered from COVID-19 should also get fully vaccinated. They are required to present the vaccine certificate (either the original or a printed copy) at the point of entry into Thailand.
  • • A negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.
  • • Travellers who have not been vaccinated, without a vaccine certificate, or partially vaccinated, and who arrive in Thailand by air will be required to enter a 10-day quarantine.
  • • Travellers who have not been vaccinated, without a vaccine certificate, or partially vaccinated, and who arrive in Thailand by land will be required to enter a 14-day quarantine.

Q: What are the entry requirements under the Sandbox pilot reopening programmes?

A: Currently, Thailand has reopened 4 pilot destinations under the “Sandbox” programme comprising Phuket, Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao), Phang-Nga (Khao Lak and Ko Yao), and Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay Beach).

To be eligible to enter in Thailand under the ‘Sandbox’ programme, fully vaccinated international travellers must apply online for a Certificate of Entry (COE) via https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/, using the following documents:

  • • A passport with at least 6 months validity.
  • • Valid visa or re-entry permit, except passport holders of countries/territories entitled to 30-day visa exemption (see list).
  • • A certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health or the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before their travel date. Travellers who have recovered from COVID-19 also need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel. Children under the age of 18 travelling with their parents/guardians do not require proof of vaccination.
  • • A confirmed flight ticket:
    • ‣ For Sandbox visitors to Phuket, Krabi and Phang-Nga, currently, Cathay Pacific, Condor Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, HK Express, Jetstar Asia, Qatar Airways, Scoot Tiger Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways International are operating direct international flights to Phuket. Please check flight schedules on the respective airlines’ websites or agencies. Kindly note that while it should be possible to transit via Bangkok; however, it is up to the airlines with regard to specially-arranged transit domestic flight availability.
    • ‣ For Sandbox visitors to Samui, currently, Bangkok Airways is offering 2 sealed route flights daily for transit/transfer international passengers connecting from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), 1 sealed Samui-Phuket flight daily, and 3 Samui-Singapore flights per week. Please check flight schedules on the airline’s website or agencies. However, this information is subject to change without prior notice.
  • • Payment confirmation or a SHABA Certificate for no less than 7-night stay at SHA Plus-certified hotel/s. Booking for SHA Plus hotels for the 7-night mandatory stay can be made directly with the certified hotels (see list) or via the ‘SHABA’ platform, which is linked with the Entry Thailand (https://entrythailand.go.th/) one-stop website platform under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
  • • Payment confirmation for the RT-PCR COVID-19 tests that cover the whole duration of stay in Thailand. Booking can be made via www.thailandpsas.com.
  • • Copy of an insurance policy in English covering healthcare and treatment expenses for COVID-19 per applicant for the whole duration in Thailand with coverage clearly identified as no less than US$100,000. (TAT recommends that travellers make sure to check the small print of any COVID-19 insurance policy before purchasing. Ultimately, the policy should cover the cost of treatment and other medical expenses associated with being infected with COVID-19, including in-patient hospitalisation. The policy should also cover the whole duration that travellers are planning to stay in Thailand.)

Kindly apply for the COE at least 2-4 weeks before travelling, and allow 6 working days to complete the process. Applicants will be notified of the application result if you have provided a valid email when you register.

Travellers also need to have the following advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry.

  • • A negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.

Q: What are the visa requirements, if any is required?

A: For tourism purposes, there are currently two types of visa, for which travellers may apply online at www.thaievisa.go.th.

  • • Tourist visa (single entry): for stay up to 60 days with possible one-time extension of 30 days.
  • • Special Tourist Visa (STV): for stay up to 90 days with possible extension of 90 days twice.

Kindly note that a valid visa or re-entry permit is required for the COE application, except passport holders of countries/territories entitled to a 30-day visa exemption (see list).

From 1 October, 2021, foreign travellers can apply for a Visa on Arrival (VOA), but they are still required to apply for a COE before flying to Thailand. However, the VOA will be granted for only 15 days without possible extension. Also, currently, only passport holders of Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu may apply for the VOA.

Requirements for a tourist visa is subject to change in line with the constantly changing COVID-19 travel restrictions by the Royal Thai Government.

For the medical visas scheme (Tourist MT or Non Immigrant – O), it is a must for applicants to contact the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate-General for authorisation prior to their e-Visa application submission. Any unauthorised application submission under the medical visas scheme would be rejected and non-refundable.

A new Stickerless Electronic Visa service

In addition, from 27 September, 2021, a new Stickerless Electronic Visa service (SE Visa Service) has been launched in 21 Thai Embassies and Consulates-General in 9 countries; namely. Canada, China, Denmark, France, Norway, Republic of Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

SE Visa applicants can submit their applications, pay the visa fees, and receive their stickerless e-visas through the website: www.thaievisa.go.th without visiting the Embassies or Consulate-General offices. After the SE Visa application has been approved, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the applicants. Information on the visa will be linked to the immigration system; however, it is recommended that travellers print a copy of the confirmation e-mail to present to the airline and Thai Immigration officials to carry out checks when travelling to Thailand.

The SE Visa service will be made available in more countries around the world in the near future.

For more information on different visa categories for other purposes than tourism, see www.thaievisa.go.th.

Q: When will the COE be terminated and replaced with the Thailand Pass System?

A: According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it has been cooperating with the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA) to develop the “Thailand Pass” system, a web-based system for Thai and foreign travellers to fill in their travel and health information and upload the related documents before travelling.

The purpose of the system is to support the “Ease of Traveling” policy, which will be implemented after the reopening of the country. This system could replace the issuance of the COE and shorten the process of filing information and uploading travellers’ documents before visiting Thailand.

Regarding the vaccination certification, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) will be responsible for giving the approval through the back-office system. As of now, Thailand has received the public key infrastructure (PKI) of the vaccine certificate from over 30 countries and has been preparing for the examination procedure. For travellers from other countries that have not been recognised in the above-mentioned countries, DDC needs to continue using a manual examination.

Travellers can also fill in their information of the T8 Form Health Questionnaire and TM6 Immigration Form through the Thailand Pass system.

The Thailand Pass system will be ready to operate and replace the COE system approximately on 1 November, 2021. However, the COE will continue to be used for certain groups of travellers; such as, patients who need to stay in Alternative Hospital Quarantine (AHQ), which need to be approved in advance for preparation, travellers who cross a land border, and travellers who travel as a group or by yachts and cruise ships.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it would provide further details on this matter as soon as information becomes available.

Q: What is the vaccination requirement?

A: Everyone 18 years of age and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travelling to Thailand. Children under the age of 18 travelling with their parents/guardians do not require proof of vaccination. More details at COVID-19 vaccine guide for travellers to Thailand.

1.3 Day of Travel

Q: What is the documentation requirement for exit screening at the point of departure?

A: Travellers must print a copy of all documentation – which must be in English – that was required for the COE, along with a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling, when undergoing the exit screening before departure. The documentation must be presented to the airline and Thai Immigration officials to carry out checks when travelling to Thailand.

Travellers under 18 years of age, travelling with their parents or guardians, must have a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.

Please note that failing to comply with your respective airline’s guidelines can result in denied boarding.

2. While You’re Here

2.1 Arrival in Thailand

Q: What is the procedure after disembarking from my flight?

A: Upon arrival at Thailand’s international airport, all travellers are subject to health screening, including a COVID-19 nasal swab RT-PCR testing, and Immigration procedures. Children under 6 years of age will receive a COVID-19 saliva RT-PCR testing.

Travellers on transit/transfer flights from Bangkok are subject to health and Immigration procedures at the first point of entry into Thailand, and undergo the steps as required at the final airport. Kindly note that while it should be possible to transit via Bangkok; however, it is up to the airlines with regard to specially-arranged transit domestic flight availability.

Travellers must download and install an alert application, as well as set the application on at all times for the whole duration in Thailand.

AQ travellers: After clearing health control and Immigration, as well as showing proof that they have downloaded an alert application, travellers will need to go straight to their reserved AQ hotel by a pre-arranged transfer for the required quarantine period (7 to 10 nights depending on the vaccination status). They are not permitted to stop en route for any reason.

Sandbox travellers: After clearing health control and Immigration, as well as showing proof that they have downloaded an alert application, travellers will need to proceed directly to the reserved SHA Plus hotel in their preferred Sandbox destination on the approved airport transfer service, and shall not stop en route for any reason. They must wait in the hotel room only for the result of the first RT-PCR COVID-19 test, which should be available within the day.

  • • If testing negative for COVID-19, travellers can go anywhere in the designated Sandbox destinations.
  • • If testing positive for COVID-19, travellers will be referred to a healthcare facility for medical treatment, for which the expenses must be covered by the required insurance. Kindly note that this may affect other travellers if you are travelling as a group, as well as other travellers on the same flight. 

Kindly note that if you arrive during 00.01-18.00 Hrs., the day is Day 1. If you arrive during 18.01-00.00 Hrs., the day after is Day 1.

2.2 During Your Stay

Q: What is the requirement for local transfer within the destination and between the Sandbox destinations?

A: This is applicable to Sandbox travellers only.

For local transfer, it is recommended that travellers use SHA Plus certified businesses and services for their added safety, as SHA Plus certification indicates hotels, restaurants, transportation providers, and tour services who meet the safety measures to control COVID-19, and also that at least 70% of their workforce has been fully vaccinated.

Kindly note that currently, renting a vehicle is possible in Phuket only, but again, it is recommended that travellers use a SHA Plus rental car service.

For local transfer between Sandbox destinations, it is recommended that travellers use SHA Plus or approved transportation only. For example, travellers must only use SHA Plus boat from Phuket’s Rassada Pier to travel to Ko Phi Phi in Krabi via Tonsai Pier.

For more details on the Sandbox pilot reopening destinations, visit: https://www.tatnews.org/thailand-reopening/.

Q: What is the COVID-19 test requirement?

A: Both the AQ and Sandbox travellers are required to undergo at least 2 RT-PCR tests – first upon arrival on Day 0-1, and the second before finishing the quarantine/stay period.

AQ travellers: The required RT-PCR tests and prepayment should already be included upon booking and paying for the AQ accommodation package. The first test will be conducted upon arrival on Day 0-1, and the second test upon finishing the quarantine period on Day 8-9.

Sandbox travellers: Travellers must book and prepay for their 2 required RT-PCR COVID-19 tests that cover the whole duration of stay in Thailand via www.thailandpsas.com.  The first test will be conducted upon arrival on Day 0-1, and the second before finishing the stay period on Day 6-7.

For travellers who intend to stay less than 7 nights, it is recommended that they undergo the second RT-PCR COVID-19 one day prior to their departure date. A negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling is required when exiting/entering the Sandbox destinations.

For travellers who intend to stay more than 7 nights and to continue their journey to other parts of Thailand, it is recommended that they undergo the second RT-PCR COVID-19 test on Day 6-7. After receiving a negative test result on Day 7, travellers can obtain a ‘Release Form’ and from Day 8 continue their journey domestically.

Q: What is the requirement for a visa extension? Is it possible to cross the border and re-enter Thailand for a visa extension?

A: Under the current COVID-19 travel restrictions by the Royal Thai Government, travellers who visit Thailand for tourism purposes can extend their stay under the following types of visa:

  • • Tourist visa (single entry): for stay up to 60 days with possible one-time extension of 30 days.
  • • Special Tourist Visa (STV): for stay up to 90 days with possible extension of 90 days twice.

Kindly note it is currently not possible to cross the border and re-enter Thailand for a visa extension because:

  • • Thai borders remain closed under the current COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • • Currently, only air travel to Thailand is possible.
  • • All international travellers are required to apply for the COE before travelling to Thailand.

Q: During my 7-night Sandbox stay, is it possible to stay in more than one destination, such as, 4 nights in Phuket and 3 nights in Krabi?

A: This is applicable to Sandbox travellers only.

Currently, the Sandbox programme requires travellers to complete a seven-night mandatory stay in a single destination before being allowed to travel domestically.

However, during the period, you may enjoy day-trip shore excursions and cruising experiences within the approved routes by using SHA Plus-certified tour services.

After you’ve completed the required 7-night stay and have received a negative result for your second RT-PCR COVID-19 test on Day 7, you can obtained a ‘Release Form’ and from Day 8 continue your journey to other destinations in Thailand.

Q: What are the health and safety precautions for travellers in Thailand?

A: Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

While in Thailand, travellers are advised to practice the D-M-H-T-T-A precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application. Masks must be worn at all times in public areas and in any vehicle with 2 or more people.

Tourist safety

The Royal Thai Government places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of every visitor to Thailand. As the main government agency responsible for the promotion and marketing of Thailand as a preferred destination, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is working closely with all the concerned public and private organisations to ensure the utmost efforts to prevent any unfortunate incidents occurring on tourists and the local Thai people.

3. When You’re Leaving

3.1 Domestic Departure

Q: What is the requirement for domestic travel after I’ve completed the AQ/Sandbox stay?

A: For domestic travel, travellers must show proof that they have completed the required quarantine period or Sandbox’s mandatory stay.

AQ travellers: Travellers must show proof that they have completed either a 7- or 10-night quarantine (or a ‘Release Form’).

Sandbox travellers: Travellers must show proof that they have completed a 7-night stay in the Sandbox destination (or a ‘Release Form’).

Please note that each destination in Thailand has entry requirements, and you should check on these beforehand, to make sure you meet them. Besides the Release Form, other documentation may include a certificate of vaccination and a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected).

3.2 International Departure

Q: What is the requirement of the country/territory I will fly to after my stay in Thailand?

A: For travelling from Thailand to other countries, travellers are advised to follow the guidelines and measures announced by the respective country of their destination.

Q: Is it possible to stay overnight for a transit flight in Bangkok before flying back to my country?

A: This is applicable to Sandbox travellers only.

Generally, this should be possible after you have completed the mandatory 7-night stay in the Sandbox destination, and have all of your advance arrangements in good order for domestic travel for a transit flight in Bangkok, including a Release Form and a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result. However, it is especially important to check with your respective airline as your flight booking conditions may not allow you to do so.

With your checklist complete, all that’s left is to enjoy all the Kingdom of Smiles has to offer!

Kindly note the information is subject to change without prior notice.

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