Thailand has released a timeline for the complete removal of all their Covid-19 related entry restrictions. The dates will only happen if there are no major outbreaks. Seeing how Shanghai had to recently suddenly close after new outbreaks, Thailand’s government is making no fixed promises. Even with open borders, far fewer tourists and medical tourists than normal are expected in 2022 from Russia, China, USA and Canada.
The Thai government has already removed the requirement for vaccinated travellers to produce a negative PCR test result prior to their flight. Changes to the country’s entry requirements are contingent on the country keeping case levels low in coming weeks. The timeline specifies:
- May 1 – replacing the RT-PCR test on arrival with an antigen test kit (ATK) check conducted by a medical professional – a faster and cheaper method of testing.
- June 1 – the cancellation of the Test and Go scheme and Thailand Pass, allowing travellers to be able to entry the country as normal.
The ever changing and confusing border rules have put people off until normal rules apply. But even when fully open, the country expects far fewer medical tourists than in 2019 and earlier years.
The government is considering lowering the minimum cover for mandatory medical insurances to US$10,000 from US$20,000, making it more affordable for visitors to buy travel insurance.
Rising oil prices, inflation and the situation in Ukraine means that Thailand expects far fewer tourists and medical tourists in 2022. European numbers are expected to be much lower than in 2019 but may be partly offset by higher numbers from Asia.