With the Special Tourist Visa now in full swing, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has issued updates on one of the hotly debated topics regarding the return of foreign tourism – the compulsory COVID-19 insurance.
According to TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, the compulsory insurance can now be purchased conveniently online in a “one-stop shop” for tourists attempting to apply for the STV.
Previously, tourists and other foreigners who are looking to enter Thailand in the New Normal era could only purchase insurance policies in the official websites of insurance policy providers accredited by the Royal Thai Government through the Thailand Office of Insurance Commission.
After reviewing its regulations on the compulsory insurance policies, the OIC has launched its own website where foreign nationals can purchase their COVID-19 insurance prior to departing for the Kingdom.
Tourists and other forms of foreign travelers can visit the website here.
However, Governor Yuthasak said that the policy coverage mandated by the OIC remains unchanged.
“A medical insurance policy with at least US$100,000 coverage or about 3.16 million baht for possible Covid-19 treatment is among the official documents required from foreign visitors planning to visit Thailand,” he is quoted as saying.
He expressed hope that tourists will now be able to achieve peace of mind through the convenient means of purchasing the required insurance at any time before they are to depart their home country and fly to the Kingdom.
The Special Tourist Visa is the spearhead of the Royal Thai Government’s efforts to revive foreign tourism, one of the major contributing industries to the country’s economy and Gross Domestic Product.
The STV allows foreign nationals to stay in Thailand for at most 90 days on their first entry. They can avail of two more extensions of 90 days each as well.
In addition to the compulsory insurance, STV holders are also required to present a clean bill of health via a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken 72 hours prior to departure. They will also need to agree to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine and three more COVID-19 tests before they are free to explore the Kingdom.
They must also agree to wear special armbands and download a mobile app for authorities to track their whereabouts.
The TAT also specified that the STV cannot be converted into a non-immigrant visa. The program will run from October this year to September 30, 2021.
The first group of tourists with the Special Tourist Visa have arrived Tuesday in Bangkok, via a chartered Spring Airlines flight from Shanghai, China. This group had tested negative for their first COVID-19 test.
Two more groups are set to arrive on October 26 and 28. The October 26 group will comprise of tourists from Guangzhou, China, while the October 28 flight will ferry in tourists from Shanghai together with Thai expats wanting to fly home.
An earlier group of tourists from Guangzhou, China was set to arrive on October 8, but they were delayed reportedly due to a request by the Phuket Provincial Government. Phuket’s authorities reportedly wanted to focus its manpower on domestic tourism for the 9-day Vegetarian Festival, which is set to end on the 26th.