Thailand relaxes visa restrictions for some foreign tourists
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said on Tuesday said that Thailand had eased several entry restrictions for holidaymakers wishing to visit the country.
"For foreigners wishing to enter Thailand, they can check the latest visa rules and regulations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website or contact the Thai charge d'affaires of their respective countries," TAT Executive Director for Tourism Products Thapanee Kiatphaibool told a press conference.
"Foreign visitors can now stay in Thailand under the Special Tourist Visa (STV) for up to 60 days, and can extend up to 90 days," said Thapanee.
However, the TAT official said Thailand will only accept applicants from low-risk countries or regions.
Thapanee added that Thailand has seen many applicants from Europe and Scandinavia, however the Thai government is mulling whether to allow tourists to enter from these western countries, which are currently gripped by a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
Thailand has not experienced a second wave of infections, hence tourists entering Thailand must provide medical certificates, take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before travel, acquire health insurance cover of 100,000 US dollars as well as go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
Since November 5, Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had granted certificates of entry to 1,465 foreigners.
The top three types of visa granted include retirement visas, special tourism visas and privileged entry visas.
Tourism and exports are Thailand's two main sources of revenue. However since the COVID-19 outbreak and the closure of borders, Thailand had been reeling from financial pain since March, prompting tourism-related businesses to convince the Thai government to reopen borders for foreign tourists.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had published a list of COVID-19 low-risk countries and regions on its website.
Some of the countries include China, New Zealand, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia and Singapore.