Thailand Abolished Thai Pass and Mask Wearing

Thai Pass will no longer be required for foreigners entering Thailand starting July 1, wearing masks will become free

Thailand Abolished Thai Pass and Mask Wearing

Thailand announced today, June 17, that it will do away with the pre-registration process for foreign visitors, which has been heavily criticized, and will no longer require the wearing of face masks in public places, responding to the slower spread of Covid-19.

The Thailand Pass system, which requires foreign tourists to obtain pre-registration from Thai authorities, will be stopped as of July 1, Tourism Minister Phipat Ratchakitprakan told reporters, lifting one of the country’s last remaining travel restrictions.

Thailand is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, but travel companies have long complained that requiring foreigners to present several documents — from vaccination certificates and PCR tests to health insurance and hotel reservations — has hampered the recovery of the sector.

Nearly 40 million people visited Thailand in 2019, but less than 1 percent visited last year, despite loosening quarantine requirements. Although tourism has gained momentum in recent months, the industry is far from recovering, with huge job and business losses in a sector that typically accounts for about 12% of Thailand’s gross domestic product.

The Covid-19 situation management center in Thailand also said that the use of face masks from next month will be voluntary, but advised people to wear them if they are in crowded places or if they have health problems.

Overall, more than 30,000 people in Thailand have died from the coronavirus pandemic, but the outbreak has largely been contained, helped by a vaccination rate of more than 80%.