On Monday, Thailand began requiring a Covid-19 vaccination certificate for all people entering the country, a restriction approved after China reopened and criticized by travel associations.
From this Monday and until at least January 31, travelers must present a certificate of vaccination when leaving for Thailand, and unvaccinated travelers must present a medical certificate or proof of recovery.
The policy, announced on Thursday, coincides with the opening of China’s borders, which was one of Thailand’s main sources of tourists before the pandemic.
On Sunday, Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation confirmed that passengers who cannot prove they have the latest vaccinations must be tested for the new coronavirus upon arrival in the country.
In addition, visitors whose countries of origin require a nucleic acid test on arrival, as in the case of China and India, must also have special Covid-19 insurance with coverage of at least USD 10,000 (EUR 9,400) in case of a positive test result. before the return flight.
Phuket Island Tourism Association (West), one of the main Thai tourism organizations, criticized in a statement the haste of the Thai authorities and the confusion in disclosing the measure.
According to the association, which said it learned of the policy change through the media, many tourists were already in transit in Thailand when the measure was announced.
Thailand’s ministries of health and foreign affairs do not mention the new requirements on their internet portals, and only the country’s Civil Aviation Authority has published a document in Thai.
Thai authorities insist the measures are not intended to discriminate against travelers from China, where the easing of restrictions preceded an unprecedented wave of infections.
On Sunday, China lifted mandatory quarantines for foreign travelers, ending a three-year lockdown..
More than a dozen countries, including Portugal, have begun requiring travelers from that country to test negative for Covid-19 to enter their territory.
Thailand welcomed over 10 million tourists in 2022, which is still much lower than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, a record 39.8 million people visited the country.