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Thailand is open NOW – masks off, bars open until 2am

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Thailand is open for business. The whole country is now a ‘green’ zone, allowing a full-scale resumption of business and activities with even the Thailand Pass being dropped next Friday. It’s about as back to normal as it can be at this time.

Decisions made by the CCSA on June 17 were put into effect yesterday after being published in the Royal Gazette, including the re-establishment of old closing times for nightlife and the removal of mask requirements (in open spaces).

Face masks will still be required in government buildings and public transport, including the BTS, MRT lines, and buses. Private shops or offices may also require the wearing of a mask, at their discretion, at this time. It is still a requirement at Thai airports and on domestic flights, for now. But, otherwise, wearing a face mask will be a voluntary situation.

With closing times for Thailand’s nightlife, the CCSA last week announced that venues will be able to open until 2am, but 1am in some locations. In reality, bars and clubs will likely be staying open well past the mandated times, just like the ‘old’ days.

Then from next Friday, the Thailand Pass will no longer be required for anyone entering Thailand from overseas. That also spells the end of the compulsory US$10,000 insurance requirement. So, from next Friday, July 1, you can just arrive in the manner you did in the past with no pre-travel digital applications or pre-approval.

But you’ll still have to carry some paperwork with you to show immigration when you get off the plane.

For fully vaccinated passengers arriving in Thailand, aged 18 years and over, you will need to show proof of vaccination. The vaccinations had to have been at least 14 days before your departure to Thailand.

For arrivals aged 5 – 17, you will need to have received at least one Covid-19 vaccination, again at least 14 days before your date of travel. Vaccination proof won’t be required for people under the age of 18 who travel with parents or a guardian.

If you’re coming through a land border and holding a border pass, you can stay in most parts of the country but no longer than 3 days.

Unvaccinated, or under vaccinated people, arriving in Thailand will need to produce a negative PCR or professionally taken ATK test conducted within the 72 hours before your departure to Thailand.

People arriving in Thailand without vaccination certificates, or a negative test, will be tested on arrival, at the cost of the passenger. Anyone testing positive will also be responsible for their treatment costs in Thailand. Last week’s CCSA meeting mentioned that these tests-on-arrival would be conducted randomly.

The Thaiger is doubtful that check-in staff would allow people on flights to Thailand without vaccination proof or a negative test. Best to check with your carrier to check on their current travel policies. You may also be required to wear a mask on the plane at this time.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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