Expats Guide to Returning to Thailand During Covid-19

Steps and procedures you’ll need to follow, when returning to Thailand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thailand is gradually reopening its borders as a result of various government policies aimed at assisting Thailand in the Covid-19 period. Returning to the country may be difficult due to the numerous documents that must be prepared, but the process is simple.

Continue reading if you want to learn how to fly to Thailand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Make Sure You Are Qualified

The first step is to make sure you have the correct visa; any of the visas listed in the section below will give you approval.

  • Foreigners under the Visa Exemption list.
  • Special Tourist Visa (STV) holders.
  • Non-immigrant B visa with work permit holders.
  • Diplomats (non-immigrant D and F visa holders), including their families.
  • Business representatives and experts invited by the Thai government.
  • Foreigners with Thai families (such as holders of Thai marriage visa).
  • Permanent residents, including their families.
  • Medical tourists and their attendants.
  • Thai Elite Visa holders.
  • Business Visa holders.
  • APEC Card holders.
  • SETV tourist visa holders.
  • Non-immigrant O, OA, and OX retirement visa holders.
  • Foreigners who are granted permission (WP3) from the Ministry of Labour to work in Thailand, including their families.

Key Points:

  • You must have a valid visa as well as all other documents required by the Thai government to be able to enter Thailand.
  • You’ll need Covid-19 insurance that meets the Thai authorities’ requirements before flying back to Thailand.
  • It is important that you book your Alternative State Quarantine hotel in advance.

Book Alternative State Quarantine Hotel

During the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone entering Thailand is required to spend mandatory quarantine at a government-accredited hotel, which is referred to as Alternative State Quarantine and Alternative Local State Quarantine.

You can choose and book the Alternative State Quarantine hotel yourself. All hotels usually offer three meals per day, complimentary Wi-Fi, a private car transfer from the airport, health checks, a nurse on call 24/7, and two Covid-19 tests. Some hotels also offer a wide range of services and entertainment to keep you occupied during your quarantine. Previously as of 1 April 2021, the Thai government reduced the time spent in ASQ from 14 days to 10 days if you pass the covid-19 tests and 7 days quarantine for vaccinated travellers.

To beable to visit Thailand during this period of time you must comply to all of the government rules and regulations.

Obtain Certificate of Entry And Insurance

Once you obtain the right visa, you’ll need to apply for a Certificate of Entry (COE) and insurance at your nearest Thai embassy or consulate.

The Certificate of Entry (COE) is an official document that must be presented by Thai and non-Thai nationals who wish to enter Thailand. It verifies that you meet the Thai government’s entrance requirements and have been given permission to enter Thailand. In order to obtain the Certificate of Entry, make sure to prepare the following documents:

– Flight confirmation
– Proof of travel/health insurance coverage expenses related to Covid-19
– Confirmation of a booking with an alternative state quarantine/alternative local state quarantine booking
– A copy of your passport
– A copy of your work permit.

Please keep in mind that each Thailand Embassy or Consulate may have different requirements, so check their website first. If you require assistance, you can also please contact our team. Depending on your visa and/or permit, you may be required to present additional documents in addition to the ones listed above. These may include the following:

– If you work in Thailand, you need to present a copy of a work permit or a certificate issued by the Ministry of Labour of Thailand (WP3) or the Board of Investment of Thailand is required for working or business purposes (BOI).

– If you are Thai nationals’ immediate family members, you need a copy of a marriage certificate (in the case of a spouse), a birth certificate (in the case of children) or other official proof of parental relationship with a Thai national (in the case of parents).

– A copy of the Certificate of Residence and a re-entry permit stamp are required for permanent residents.

– A copy of a document certifying the applicant’s student status or a letter of acceptance from a Thai university or school that is supervised by the Thai relevant authority is required for study purposes.

– For long-stay (O-A and O-X) visa holders, you need a copy of a valid O-A or O-X visa, a copy of a valid re-entry permit and stay permit stamp (if applicable), and a certificate of residency are all required (if any).

– A copy of a valid Thailand Elite Card, as well as a letter from Thailand Privilege Card Co., Ltd., are required for holders of a valid Thailand Privilege Card.

– A copy of a valid APEC card is needed for those who have one.

Other documentation may be needed depending on the applicant’s nationality. The application is reviewed in three working days by the Embassy/Consulate-General. It is recommended that you apply for the Certificate of Entry at least 15 business days before departing to Thailand. This is to ensure that your application will be approved before your departure date.

Get a Covid-19 RT-PCR Test

Once you obtain your Certificate of Entry, you need to get a Covid-19 test. The only Covid-19 test approved is RT-PCR.

The test must be completed within 72 hours of your departure for Thailand, according to the instructions from the Thai government. However, you’ll be allowed to enter if you receive the test results within 72 hours, as some clinics take longer than five days to process the results.

Obtain a T.8 Form

T.8 Form or Thailand Health Declaration is a statement proving that you don’t have Covid-19 or its symptoms. It is a preventative safety measure. You can get T.8 Form online via an app or on paper. If you prefer to do it by hand, you can ask for the Health Declaration form from your airline. You can also print out one beforehand or get it once you arrive in Thailand. However, it is best that you bring a prefilled form to speed up the process at immigration as you must present it to authorities upon arrival in Thailand. Numerous online visa services can take care of the form for you for a small fee.

Apart from personal information, such as your name, passport number, mobile phone number, email address, and nationality, the T.8 Form also includes any symptoms you’ve had in the last two weeks, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Jaundice
  • Enlarged lymph glands or tender lumps
  • Others (specify).

Your personal information will mainly be used by the Thai health officials for contact tracing if there’s a Covid-19 case in your vicinity or on your flights.

It is recommended that you apply for the Certificate of Entry at least 15 business days before departing to Thailand.

Prepare All of the Paperwork For Boarding

Prepare all relevant documentation and put them in a single folder so you won’t have trouble presenting them to immigration officers at the airport; it will also assist you in presenting legitimate documents if you are questioned. Arrive earlier than your flight’s scheduled departure time to prevent delays and avoid being left behind. Secure and process the necessary documents ahead of time to prevent confusion and ensure a smooth journey.

Please note that starting from 1 April 2021, you no longer need to have a Fit-to-Fly certificate to enter Thailand.

I’m Vaccinated Do I Still Need to Prepare These Documents?

If you are non-Thai, you still need to prepare the documents stated above, even if you’re fully vaccinated. Make sure to bring your vaccine certificate (with an original paper or a printed copy) along with the documents listed above.

You may be eligible for the 7-day quarantine if you:

– Are vaccinated with the vaccine approved by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand.

– Are vaccinated for more than 14 days before the travelling date.

What To Do Upon Entry To Thailand?

When you enter Thailand, you are required to do the following:

– Present your Certificate of Entry to the Thai authorities at the airport you arrive in.
– Present your Covid-19 PCR test result certificate.
– Present your Covid-19 insurance policy.
– Present your Alternative State Quarantine Booking Confirmation.
– Present your T.8 Form.
– Present your visa.

Once you’re granted entry, you’ll be taken to your ASQ hotel right away.

Other Types of Covid-19 Insurance

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