Thailand to Allow Tourists to Stay for 60-Days Visa-Free

Nov 19, 2020 | ESCAPE, GOV, NEWS, Thailand

Thailand – Florian Wehde

Thailand’s economy heavily relies on tourism – a sector that has been greatly affected by the pandemic. But now, the country is ready to welcome tourists again and has even introduced longer visa-free stays for mid and low-risk countries.

If the quarantine is getting to you and you want to hop on a plane to the nearest tropical paradise, Thailand is the place to be. The country has been successful in warding off the virus with only 3,500 infections, and 59 deaths– a far cry from the rising number from other neighboring Asian countries. As expected, the government is driven to keep it that way despite opening its borders to tourists once more.

Thailand Introduces STV

Since March, Thailand’s borders have mostly been closed to international tourists. This has severely impacted its economy where 20 percent comes from the sector. Thailand recently launched a new Special Tourist Visa or STV in October which finally allowed tourists to enter the country with certain precautions. Those permitted to enter Thailand visa-free for 60 days were mid-risk countries such as the US, Ireland, UK, and Scandinavian nations. The US and UK Thai Embassies both have instructions for application on their websites. The 60-day visa can be extended to 90 days. 

Once the visa and certificate of entry are approved, they must quarantine 14 days upon their arrival in Bangkok before they can explore the country. Guests will be picked up straight from the airport. The government has also announced that the movement of tourists may be checked through a wristband or an app. The 60-day visa can be extended to 90 days.

Upon arrival, tourists will undergo a PCR test, and upon receiving a negative result, they can go out for an hour and a half per day until the 14-day quarantine is over.

Some Caveats

Tourists are also expected to cover a few extra costs. For example, they must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of their travel, as well as provide health insurance that covers up to $100,000. Tourists also need to pay $40 for their visa, show booking confirmation to a state quarantine hotel, as well as show a bank balance of at least $17,000 every month for the last six months. 

For low-risk countries such as Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and China, tourists can stay for 90 days visa-free. This can be renewed twice. For the safety of everyone, tourists and locals are still required to use masks in public.