Govt Declares Thailand a “Green Zone,” Lifting Travel and Business Restrictions

Thailand has been finally declared a green zone (under surveillance), meaning that business operations and other activities can resume.

On Friday, the Royal Gazette made the move official, publishing the announcement by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also heads the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). The decree comes shortly before pre-arrival registration, set to end next month, is eliminated.

Categorizing the country as a green zone also means that businesses no longer have to face strict Covid-19 restrictions. All entertainment venues can resume their pre-pandemic working hours and remain open until 2:00 am, based on relevant regulations.

The announcement, dated Thursday, also lifts the strict rules on other business, personal, and entertainment activities.

The government has decided to relax disease controls as Covid-19 transitions to endemic status.

Earlier, authorities announced that people arriving in the country must not perform a pre-arrival registration or undergo a mandatory quarantine period. Also, arrivals are no longer required to purchase Covid-19 insurance.

Some rules are set to remain in effect but are less strict. All visitors aged 18 and over will only be required to show proof of vaccination, issued at least 14 days before their trip.

Travelers aged 5-17 must have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to be allowed entry to the kingdom. However, they will not be required to present vaccination certificates if traveling with guardians.

Likewise, people arriving through ground checkpoints can stay in specific areas of the country only if they have border passes and for no more than three days.

Those who have not received full doses for immunity against Covid-19 must submit negative results from an RT-PCR test or professional antigen tests performed within 72 hours prior to travel.

Disease control officers have been designated to assist people who are not tested or do not show negative Covid-19 results. However, travelers must bear the testing costs.

The government advises travelers to follow disease control measures and perform self-antigen tests before traveling, as those who test positive must still be responsible for their treatment expenses.

Now that Thailand is considered a green zone or under surveillance, people are no longer required to comply with the mandatory mask-wearing.

Vulnerable people such as the elderly or those diagnosed with underlying illnesses should continue wearing masks in crowded or poorly ventilated places. However, mask-wearing is voluntary for other citizens.