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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Thailand prepares to drop Thai Pass and travel insurance

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Tourists who want to travel to Thailand may not have to have the Thai Pass for entry and compulsory health insurance from May 1, 2022

Thailand’s future requirements for arriving foreigners to have health insurance are still “up in the air,” along with other expectations of reduced barriers to international arrivals.

Currently, all foreigners, except those with work permits, must have coverage against Covid-19 for $20,000, including hospitalization. The price used to be $50,000 until the Thailand Coronavirus Situation Group lowered it in March.

Now, while the Ministry of Tourism suggests that starting next month the entire Thai Pass registration process for visitors should be eliminated, it is still unclear what, if any, medical insurance requirements will be. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has proposed reducing the cost of insurance to $10,000. However, no government agency has explicitly stated that compulsory insurance will cease to be compulsory at all.

Usually, any changes to immigration rules and restrictions regarding the coronavirus situation are made at the last minute, and potential travelers have to wait to arrange their visits to Thailand.

Thailand has long been discussing easing entry requirements for foreign visitors, which is keeping tourists on edge. The government said it will propose eliminating the Test&Go and Thai Pass schemes at a meeting with the Covid-19 Situation Management Center on April 22. If approved, the changes and amendments could take effect as early as May 1, allowing travelers to enter Thailand using only their vaccination documents rather than waiting for one to five days for the Thai Pass to be approved.

Thailand has already stopped requiring foreigners arriving from abroad to undergo a PCR test for Covid-19 before flying into the kingdom, but visitors are still required to undergo a PCR test after landing. If the new changes are approved, PCR tests on arrival and one night of prepaid SHA+ hotel accommodations could be replaced with a 10-15 minute antigen test at the airport.

Nothing has been approved at this point, and even after the April 22 meeting, any changes must be published in the Royal Gazette before they will be officially adopted.

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