Thailand Will Extend Visa-Free Stays to 45 Days

The updated regulation is set to take effect from October this year through March 2023.

An aerial view of Sai Nuan Beach on Koh Tao, Thailand. (Photo: Max Böttinger/Unsplash)

Thailand’s national coronavirus task force, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), has approved a new plan to encourage overseas visitors to stay longer in the kingdom and boost the tourism industry over peak season. On Friday, CCSA spokesperson Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin announced a temporary change in entry rules that will last beyond the Northern Hemisphere winter. Starting from October 1, international arrivals with visa-free access will get to stay for 45 days, up from the current 30. This applies to tourists coming in from nearly 60 countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States, as well as most of ASEAN and the majority of EU member states.

Meanwhile, citizens of 19 jurisdictions including Mainland China, Taiwan, and India who require a visa on arrival will have the length of their permitted stays doubled from 15 to 30 days. The new regulations will be in force until March 31, 2023. At the moment, Thailand-bound holidaymakers from visa-free places can extend their stay by up to 30 days — for a total of 60 days — by paying 1,900 baht (roughly US$53). But it is not yet clear whether that option is available for those staying 45 days. Travelers issued with a visa on arrival will only be allowed to remain one more week at the same price.

According to statistics from the tourism ministry, more than 4 million overseas visitors entered Thailand from January 1 until August 16. The latest projections suggest that figure is due to hit 10 million by year’s end. Dr. Taweesilp also said Covid-19 will be declared endemic in Thailand from October, at which point the CCSA will be wound down, with responsibility for handling outbreaks transferred to the health ministry and provincial officials.

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