Published on : Tuesday, December 15, 2020
After keeping its borders closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand has decided to fully open for visitors from all countries. The country has already reopened its borders to travellers with work permits, residents, or those with family. However, the government has announced that travellers from all countries can visit Thailand and apply for new ‘tourist visas’ lasting for up to 60 days. The Special Tourist Visa (STV) has been initiated to attract tourists back to the ‘Land of Smiles.’
Under the latest scheme, visitors from all countries will be required to stay for up to 60 days but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days at an ‘alternative state quarantine’ hotel on arrival. According to reports, besides the mandatory quarantine on arrival, visitors will also have to undergo PCR test and apply for a travel visa. Travellers who wish to stay longer in Thailand can also apply for ‘special tourist visa’ if they are arriving from low-risk countries, such as China, Australia, and Vietnam.
As per this special tourist visa, the tourists will be allowed to stay for up to 90 days, and their stay can also be extended twice, and they can stay in the country for a maximum of nine months. Travellers from all other countries can visit the country and stay for up to 60 days. All visitors will be required to provide a negative test result from within 72 hours of arrival, along with a second test once they land in the country. Upon testing positive, they will have to undergo quarantine for 14 days in a state hospital. One must also be required to provide evidence of travel and medical insurance that will cover COVID-19 for at least the length of their stay.
Reportedly, both these visa plans are aimed at reviving Thailand’s tourism industry, which contributes to around 20 percent of the country’s GDP. Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In 2019, Bangkok was the most visited city as 38 million tourists visited the country. Tourism was one of the greatest contributors to the country’s economy and the impact of the COVID-19 has been severe on the same.