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What to know about travelling to Thailand from South Africa during COVID-19
The latest on quarantine status, COVID-19 vaccine and test requirements and local restrictions for South Africans travelling to Thailand.
Before you try to leave South Africa, use our guide to skill up on what you need to do to ensure your journey is possible and, if it is, goes as smoothly as it can.
Can I travel from South Africa to Thailand?
Yes, from December 2020 Thailand is accepting South African travellers for tourism purposes. There are currently plans of making Phuket quarantine-free if the South African traveller has been vaccinated as of 1 July 2021. Keep in mind that travel back to South Africa may be difficult as returning flights are few and far between.
Latest information for Thailand
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COVID-19 statistics in Thailand vs South Africa
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Getting to Thailand and travelling around once there
Which entry points in Thailand are open to travellers from South Africa?Thailand has multiple points of entry, and the following are accepting international travellers from South Africa:
- Open Borders: All land borders are open, though before you cross be aware that many are dangerous to cross. For example, the Thailand-Cambodia border often closes with little notice due to border disputes and the Thailand-Myanmar and Thailand-Malaysia borders are renowned for high levels of violence and attacks.
As a traveller from South Africa, can I travel anywhere once I'm in Thailand?Yes, once in Thailand, South Africans are free to travel anywhere.
What's open in Thailand?
National parks, beaches, shopping centres and other attractions have reopened but some rules apply as safety measures.
Major tourist attractions that are open:
- The Grand Palace, Bangkok
- Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, Bangkok
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok
- Railay Beach, Railay
- Khaosan Road, Bangkok
- Similan Islands (closed from May-October annually for regeneration only)
- Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai
- Walking trails, parks and beaches: Most national parks and their walking trails have reopened for public access. Some may still be closed due to lack of control measures. Before you head out, check the official websites to ensure that your specific park or walking track is open. Beaches throughout Thailand are allowed to reopen. Note that some may be closed due to seasonality or for rejuvenation purposes.
- Shopping centres and stores: All shops and stores are permitted to reopen. This is not limited to essential stores such as supermarkets and pharmacies, but includes large shopping malls and indoor and outdoor markets. Depending on the province you are visiting there may be strict controls in shopping centres. This can include the policing of physical distancing and reduced opening hours.
- Restaurants, cafes and bars: Food establishments across the nation are permitted to reopen. However, depending on what control zone they are in, there may be some restrictions involved.
Can I cruise to or around Thailand?Luxury cruise lines, including those that travel from South Africa to Thailand, have suspended operations until at least mid-2021. These dates are subject to change.
What are the entry requirements for Thailand coming from South Africa?
Do I need a permit to enter Thailand?No, South African citizens and permanent residents do not need a permit or visa to enter Thailand. Until September 2021 people travelling from South Africa may stay in Thailand for up to 45 days. To enter Thailand, Aussies do need a Certificate of Entry.
Do I need proof I've had a vaccine to travel?For the moment, South Africans do not need proof of a vaccine to travel to Thailand.
However, as of 1 July 2021, Phuket is open to the world and will require South Africans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter without the need to quarantine.
South African travellers entering Phuket after 1 July are not able to travel quarantine-free to other areas of Thailand.
Once vaccines become more prevalent they could replace the need for people from South Africa to enter quarantine when they arrive in Thailand.
Do I need proof I've had a negative test before departing Thailand?Yes, if you're travelling from South Africa to Thailand you'll need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
This must be taken no later than 72 hours prior to your departure from South Africa.
Do I need to quarantine when I arrive in Thailand?All South African travellers, unless exempt, must complete 10 days of quarantine. person from South Africa visitors only have to do seven days if they have been vaccinated. For non-Thai South African nationals this is at your own expense and is allowed at permitted hotels only.
Fully-vaccinated travellers from South Africa do not need to quarantine if they are visiting Phuket - this does not include the rest of Thailand.
people from South Africa arriving from the following countries still need to do the full 14-days even if they've been vaccinated.
- South Africa
Frequently asked questions about travelling from South Africa to Thailand:
Current travel deals to ThailandWhether or not now is the right time to travel to Thailand, these deals are ready to go as soon as you are. Many companies are offering flexible travel options to Thailand or are discounting future travel, so it's a great time to bag a bargain.
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