If you’ve been dreaming of sipping Piña coladas while enjoying unspoiled views of the ocean, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. After a year and a half of closing the borders due to the pandemic, Thailand reopened to fully vaccinated South African travellers on November 1.
South Africans could travel to 17 attractions within the country, namely the Blue Zone Destinations, which includes Bangkok, Krabi, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Trat, Buri Ram, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phang-Nga, Phetchaburi, Phuket, Ranong, Rayong, Loei, Samut Prakan, Surat Thani, Nong Khai, and Udon Thani.
But this notion of embarking on dream vacation was short lived after Thailand suspended travel on arrivals from African countries [including South Africa] “as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus Omicron variant.”
Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has imposed restrictions on arrivals from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
“Effective from 28 November, 2021, arrivals from any of the eight countries who already have a pre-approved permit to enter Thailand will be allowed to enter, but all will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. However, from 1 December, 2021, arrivals from these countries will not be allowed. Meanwhile, entry registration has been closed from 27 November, 2021.
“For travellers from other African countries, they will no longer be eligible to enter Thailand under the Sandbox programme. However, they will be allowed to enter Thailand under a 14-day quarantine requirement. During the 14 days, they must only remain in their room and undergo 3 RT-PCR tests on Day 0-1, 5-6, and 12-13, respectively,” the statement read.