Thailand will lift all quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers from the United States in November, allowing American tourists to travel anywhere in the country unrestricted.
Starting Nov. 1, fully-vaccinated U.S. tourists will be able to skip quarantine if they show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken before their trip and get tested again upon arrival, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The decision comes weeks after Thailand laid out a phased reopening plan, including allowing vaccinated travelers to head to Bangkok on Nov. 1. The country already allows fully-vaccinated tourists to travel to Phuket and Ko Samui, but requires extensive paperwork, including securing a Certificate of Entry, showing proof of insurance that would cover up to $100,000 in potential COVID-19 treatments, pre-booking a stay at an SHA Plus-certified hotel for at least seven nights, and booking and prepaying for all required on-the-ground testing. Travelers must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure.
Going forward, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said in a statement "All that visitors will need [to] do is to show that they are COVID-free at their time of travel… and do a test in Thailand, after which they will be free to move around Thailand in the same way that any Thai citizen can do."
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Prayuth said the decision was made in time to "entice some of the year-end and New Year holiday season travelers."
"I know this decision comes with some risk," Prayuth added. "We will have to track the situation very carefully, and see how to contain and live with that situation because I do not think that the many millions who depend on the income generated by the travel, leisure, and entertainment sector can possibly afford the devastating blow of a second lost new year holiday period."
In addition to the U.S., Thailand will also lift quarantine restrictions on travelers from nine other "low-risk countries," including China, Germany, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The country plans to expand its list of allowed countries by December and then again in January.
Tourists may also be faced with a 500-baht (about $14) tourism fee, which the country plans to implement next year to subsidize tourism-related projects.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.