Thailand’s current vaccination requirements are as “will they, won’t they” as Ross and Rachel on Friends. Here’s the update on whether you need to be jabbed or not to enter the Kingdom.
Ah, the Thai government. Best known for changing policies at a moment’s notice and doing so only for the sake of optics. Heck, they started the year off with the announcement that they’ll be spending upwards of THB 30 million (SGD 1.2 million) just to change the sign on a train station. So it isn’t surprising, then, that after days of speculation, they changed the policy regarding vaccination requirements for tourists—again. And again.
Is Thailand’s vaccination requirement on a break or gone for good?
— NBT WORLD News (@NBTWORLDNews) January 9, 2023
The complete reversal of the “zero COVID” policy in China and their opening of borders sparked worry worldwide. It’s a major cause of concern for Thailand since it welcomes many Chinese tourists every year, or at least it did pre-pandemic. China announced that its borders would reopen on Sunday and Thailand was set to welcome Chinese tourists again, but the question was whether there would be any restrictions on travellers from China as other countries have announced.
At first, it seemed like nothing would be changed. Requirements for entry, including a negative test and health insurance, were all dropped last October. But on Saturday, the government surprised the nation much as a father returning from buying milk after 25 years: yes, you would need to be vaccinated. And no, this isn’t going to be discriminatory, assured Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Sure, Anutin.
The latest update
The policy took effect for all flights arriving on Monday (January 9), 1:00 am onwards. Well, in just over 12 hours, that policy changed again: no vaccinations required. Everyone is free to enter. “Showing proof of vaccination would be cumbersome and inconvenient, and so the group’s decision is that it is unnecessary,” Anutin said according to Reuters.
At this point, anything can happen. We’re in post-break-up Ross and Rachel where they’re on and off right now, and do remember they ended up having a baby and Rachel had a strange fling with Joey. So yes, anything can happen. Be on the lookout for more updates.
Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy of Florian Wehde/Unsplash
This article first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Bangkok