As the third wave of the Covid pandemic is here, we are again locked inside our homes to stay safe. As much as we are missing travelling, the tourist spots are missing us too. The pandemic has upended many lives, the healthcare system, economy and what not. The tourism sector is among the worst affected of all.
One of the countries facing the tourist crunch is Thailand, a travel destination that has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now to cover the coming expenses and maintenance costs, the Thailand government has come up with a new idea.
FEES FOR FOREIGNERS
From April 2022, people who wish to visit the country have to pay a fee. Foreign visitors now have to pay an entry fee of Rs 670; i.e. US $9. The fees will be used to help the pandemic-hit travel industry recover.
Yuthasak Supasorn, the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said that some part of this fee will be used to upgrade the tourism infrastructure in the country. Some of it will be used in insurance of the tourists. He said, "We've encountered times when insurance didn't have coverage for tourists ... which then made it our burden to take care of them."
However, this extra fee might not make much of a difference to you because it won't be charged up-front, say, at the immigration counter, when you're at an airport in Thailand.
This fee will be charged with your airline ticket and will be used in the above-mentioned sectors.
Basically: You will have to pay the extra Rs 670 along with your flight ticket to Thailand.
THERE IS MORE
If you want to travel to Thailand, this fee is not the only thing you need. You need to take care of the following requirements too during Covid times:
1. COVID NEGATIVE TEST
You need to have a medical report from a laboratory that indicates that you have not been detected with Covid-19. The RT-PCR should not be older than 72 hours before departure.
2. BOOKING CONFIRMATION OF A QUARANTINE HOTEL
You need to stay at a quarantine hotel after entering the country.
If you are a fully vaccinated person from a verified country, you have to stay in a Test-and-Go hotel for 1 night.
List of verified countries. Photo: thaiembassy.com
If you are a fully vaccinated individual from a non-verified country, you need to book a Sandbox hotel for 5-nights quarantine.
These are the valid vaccines:
Unvaccinated people have to follow a mandatory quarantine for 10 days, and travellers from Africa have to follow a 14-day quarantine.
Medical insurance for Covid treatment of at least US $50,000; that is, Rs 37,06,630.
You need to make these many arrangements to travel to Thailand during the pandemic. It is best to delay your travel plans right now, unless it is extremely urgent. Also, there are very few flights from India to Thailand at the moment... so, your one-way ticket to Bangkok would probably cost more than what an entire 7-day trip would have cost otherwise. Best to postpone that trip.
And before we sign off: If you are booking a plane ticket these days, here’s a pro tip you can follow to reduce your Covid risk.