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    PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY

    COVID-19 Update:

    Travel Advice and Safety Requirements

    At Thailand Holiday Group, we recognise the need to adopt and implement a comprehensive range of procedures as a professional and conscientious travel agency, including health and safety best practices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, the well-being of our clients, hoteliers, and team members is our main priority. As such, we have introduced some new initiatives to ensure our suppliers maintain the highest hygiene levels while guaranteeing that our guest’s experience isn’t diminished in any way.

    Current information for travel to Thailand

    There are still significant travel restrictions in place regarding travel to Thailand. Further limitations may also apply in your home country, so we strongly advise consulting the Royal Thai Embassy or the relevant government department prior to making any travel arrangements. 

    Flight Information

    All airlines are currently running a reduced schedule with restrictions on the number of seats available due to social distancing. Thai Airways are operating repatriation flights for Thai Nationals and those living in Thailand with long-term visas. The flights can be arranged via the Royal Thai Embassy, with departure dates decided and allocated by the embassy.

    The major carriers such as KLM, Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad and EVA, amongst others, are flying to Thailand. At present, they require ALL passengers, including Thai nationals, to produce a negative PCR COVID-19 that must have been taken no more than 72 hours before departure. Many airlines still require a Fit to Fly Certificate, something that Thai Immigration no longer requires.

    Proof of having the necessary documentation is required, along with disclaimers depending upon the country of departure and if connections are needed. Documents will be checked at ALL airports en route, so please allow more time at check-in and when you go to the gate. Check-in, in most cases, now opens four hours before the scheduled departure time, extended from the previous three hours.

    Vaccinations

    From 1 April, those travelling from countries without a COVID-19 variant and with a certificate proving that they have had the required doses of a recognised vaccine (see below) will be required to quarantine for no less than eight nights on arrival in Thailand. The quarantine will be at a government recognised quarantine centre such as State Quarantine (Thai nationals only), at an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) or an Alternative Local Quarantine (ALQ) hotel. 

    Those travelling without a valid vaccination certificate will be required to quarantine for no less than 11 nights at an ASQ or ALQ. Travellers from countries with a recognised variant will be required to quarantine for no less than 15 nights in an ASQ or ALQ.

    Recognised vaccines in Thailand

    (1) CoronaVac by Sinovac (approved by the FDA)

    (2) AZD 1222 by AstraZeneca/Oxford (approved by the FDA)

    (3) AZD 1222 by Siam Bioscience /AstraZeneca/Oxford (approved by the FDA)

    (4) COV2.S by Johnson & Johnson (approved by the FDA)

    (5) Tozinameran by Pfizer–BioNTech

    (6) Covishield by Serum Institute of India 

    (7) mRNA-1273 by Moderna

    Current Visa Information

    Holders of long-term visas such as a Thai Retirement Visa, a Thai Marriage Visa or a Thai Business Visa can enter the country under the proviso above. The following visas are available for tourists from most countries (consult with your local Royal Thai Embassy for confirmation).

    ·         Special Tourist Visa (STV): Length of stay permitted in Thailand – 90-270 days

    The STV is granted for an initial 90 days, which can be extended twice, once in Thailand, making 270 days.

    ·         Tourist Visa (TR): Length of stay permitted in Thailand – 60 days

    This is a new visa which began in December 2020 allowing tourist to enter the Kingdom for up to 60 days. Currently, the visa cannot be extended but this under review

    ·         Visa Exemption: Length of stay permitted in Thailand – 45 days

    Also known as the Visa on Arrival, the visa was extended from 30 days to 45 days in December 2020 to allow for the quarantine period. The visa is only available to passport holders from specified countries, so consult your Royal Thai Embassy for further details.

    What is the current situation in Thailand?

    As of 6 April, Thailand has had a total of 29,571 reported cases of COVID-19. 95 people have sadly lost their lives, 26,873 have now fully recovered, and the rest remain in hospital, quarantine or other similar government-controlled facilities.

    What is Thailand’s policy regarding COVID-19?

    The relatively low number of cases has primarily been down to Thailand’s strict handling of the pandemic from the outset. Borders were closed early, and anyone visiting or returning to the country must quarantine in state facilities or Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ). On 1 April 2021, quarantine periods were reduced to 11 nights.

    Moving forward, and if things remain unchanged, quarantine will be reduced to 8 nights from 1 July 2021 for anyone who has received both doses of one of the Thai governments recognised vaccines. A trial will also be introduced on the island of Phuket whereby visitors who have received both doses of the vaccine and remain on the island will not be required to quarantine.

    If the trial proves successful, the Thai government will lift all travel restrictions for tourists who have had both vaccines and are visiting the provinces of Surat Thani, Chonburi, Chiang Mai and potentially Bangkok from 1 October 2021.

    The vaccination programme has already begun in Thailand with priority groups, including healthcare workers, those at high risk, and people working in the tourism industry, with priority given to those working in Phuket.

    Foreigners visiting Thailand will be required to have travel or health insurance covering the duration of their visa. The MINIMUM amount of coverage is US$100,000 and must expressly state that it covers COVID-19. Foreigner travellers will also need to take a PCR-T COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure that produces a negative result. They will also need a Certificate of Entry which can be requested from a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate before travel. Evidence of documents will be required before departure and again on arrival in Thailand.

    Following on from the advice issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and advice given locally, with immediate effect, this is our group’s policy. As circumstances change rapidly, this policy will be frequently reviewed and altered according to the latest advice.

    WHO Advice Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

    What is COVID-19?

    COVID-19 is a previously unknown variant of the coronavirus. It is highly infectious, and its origins are unknown, but the first reported cases were in Wuhan, a city in China, back in late 2019. Over the following months, cases of the virus were reported in other countries and by the beginning of Q2 2020; it was recognised as a global pandemic by WHO. Almost every country in the world has reported cases, with many now experiencing a “Third Wave”.

    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    The symptoms of COVID-19 do vary, with many being asymptomatic, meaning that they do not display any symptoms. For those that have contract the virus, common symptoms include:

    • A fever (a temperature above 38 degrees)

    • A new dry and persistent cough

    • Shortness of breath

    • Fatigue

    • Changes to, or a loss of, taste and smell are also frequently reported

    Other less common symptoms include sore throat, aches and pains, headaches, nasal congestion, rashes or discolouration of the skin, conjunctivitis and diarrhoea. Many of the symptoms will be mild, although they can quickly deteriorate.

    How do you contract COVID-19?

    COVID-19 is spread via droplets that contain the virus. These droplets can be released when an infected person exhales (breathes), coughs or sneezes. The droplets can remain on hard surfaces for several days. When these droplets enter another person’s body, whether that is via the nose, mouth or eyes, there is a high likelihood that they will contract the virus. People should, where possible, remain two metres apart and avoid enclosed spaces to reduce the chances of inhaling any droplets.

    How do you protect yourself and others from COVID-19?

    • All hard surfaces such as desks, phones and computers must be regularly cleaned using detergents or alcohol

    • People should wash their hands up to their elbows using soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds

    • Hands should NOT be dried on a fabric towel used by others; instead, paper towels or mechanical (electrical) hand dryers should be used

    • Alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel should also be frequently used

    • Face coverings should be worn when indoors or in other enclosed spaces

    • Rooms should be well ventilated and, where possible, windows be left wide open

    • Anyone displaying symptoms should be advised to stay at home, self-isolate and seek medical advice

    • All employees, contractors, visitors, guests and customers should be briefed on your procedures

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