The UK government announced yesterday that Thailand would be added to its travel “red list” of countries and territories from 4am on Monday 30th August.
Main picture Maya Bay, Phi Phi, Thailand credit Kullez on flickr
Earlier this month the US announced that Thailand would move to the highest travel advisory – a Level 4 Alert. The US and UK have been the largest markets for tourists since the launch of the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus schemes in July.
The change in status will inevitably lead to significantly lower numbers of people heading to Thailand in the coming weeks and will also reduce confidence in booking for later in 2021 and even early 2022.
The news comes at a particularly bad time for Thailand which recently announced the launch of the Phuket 7+7 Extension designed to make travel to the country more attractive to visitors.
The change of status of countries has, in the past, led to a rush in travellers trying to return home prior to the changes taking place.
However this is likely to be much more complicated and difficult for long-haul travellers than those previously affected in European holiday destinations. There are very limited flights available, even via other countries, that would get travellers home in time.
The UK government says that travel to red list countries should be avoided “except in the most extreme of circumstances”.
Red list status means that only British and Irish nationals and people with residence rights can travel to England. Other parts of the UK have different entry rules.
Anyone arriving in the UK from Thailand, or has visited in the previous 10 days, after that time will have had to have tested negative for Covid-19 in the previous 3 days and then spend 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel, undertaking a further two tests.
The cost of the quarantine hotel is currently £2,285 for the first adult, £1,430 for a second adult (age 12 and over) and £325 for children 11 years and younger.
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