BANGKOK — Fully vaccinated travelers from 63 countries and territories can now fly to Thailand with minimal quarantine requirements as the highly anticipated reopening officially begins today.
The first flight to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport under the reopening program, which allows visitors to freely travel in Thailand after their PCR test results came out negative, was from Japan. Arriving shortly after midnight, the largely empty flight carried 11 foreign nationals and 30 Thais, most of them returning to their home in Thailand.
Another flight, this time from Singapore, followed at Suvarnabhumi Airport about 11am, though airport officials did not say how many passengers it carried.
For Phuket island, the first flight to arrive was from Switzerland, carrying 229 passengers, according to official figures.
The government initially released a list of 46 countries and territories from where vaccinated tourists could enter the kingdom, but then added another 17 more to the list. The new additions include India, Taiwan, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Croatia, Indonesia, Kuwait, the Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Romania, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Luxembourg.
Upon arriving in Thailand, fully inoculated tourists from those approved countries only need to wait in their hotel room for the result of their PCR test and are then free to go where they like. The testing fee is included in the one-night accommodation at approved hotels, and government regulations say the PCR result should be available within 6 hours.
Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the reopening will boost revenue and bring in much needed hotel bookings from foreign travelers.
“I’m confident the re-opening will greatly benefit the country,” he told reporters, adding that the agency expects over 1 million tourists to visit in the next 6 months.