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Phuket Opinion: Kill the COE, tourism tax


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This is how simple the COE registration process actually is. Source: Certificate of Entry Registration Manual / Ministry of Foreign Affairs


By The Phuket News


PHUKET: A dim light now appears to be glimmering at the end of a very long tunnel for Phuket’s COVID-battered tourism industry, and for people at large on the island. The easing of the alcohol restrictions in restaurants was nearly celebrated when it came into effect last week, at the same time, over the past week the number of new infections reported each day have abated, now clearly below 200 a day.


The easing of the requirements for domestic travellers to come to Phuket, brought into effect only nine days ago, has also helped to ease the tension, which has been nearly palpable across the island as people and business operators continue to struggle to keep their financial heads above water. It’s almost as if the island itself this past week has breathed a nervous sigh of relief in the belief that the end might be nigh.


In addition to the easing of the alcohol restriction in Phuket and the entry requirements for domestic visitors to the island, the Sandbox 7+7 extension scheme now appears to be workable with areas outside Phuket, including Khao Lak, Koh Yao and Phi Phi Island, ready to properly receive guests without provincial orders for those locations getting in the way.


Full story: https://www.thephuketnews.com/phuket-opinion-kill-the-coe-tourism-tax-81655.php




-- © Copyright Phuket News 2021-10-11
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It would be sad if 500 b stopped a person from coming.  I think for fully vaxed they may drop everything but keep the insurance.   They have had a bug up their A for several years about insurance, so I see that remaining in some form.  

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2 hours ago, bkk6060 said:

I think for fully vaxed they may drop everything but keep the insurance.

As someone looking to come to Thailand, I would take that in fair trade. The insurance isn't that expensive when you remove the necessity of staying in an ASQ, Sandbox, or whatever the next scheme is to be called. 

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2 hours ago, Captain Monday said:

The Thai govt won't eliminate COE and thus there will be no High Season 2021-2022.

A spot on post every other country manages covid entry restrictions with no onerous COE let the airlines sort out the paperwork. Cut the nonsense and open the country.

In other words bring it all down to a simple/relevant foundation:


- Must have proof of full accepted vaccination, last shot done at least 2 weeks before arrival. If last shot say more than 6 perhaps 8 months ago then must also prove booster shot done at least 2 weeks before arrival.

- Negative 48 hr PCR test to depart (easy now at many departure points - PCR lab with 1 hr report at many airports.

- Negative rapid on arrival.

- Must prove have full Covid 19 insurance covering the number of days in Thailand. Perhaps could be sold in blocks of 7, 14, 21, 30, etc., days. Perhaps could be an extension of the tgia.net website already exists for Covid 19 insurance, just add another category of 'tourist'. Super easy to buy/pay on line, receive policy/receipt by e.mail. 



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6 hours ago, RichardColeman said:

Flash your vaccine card only and they could save their economy overnight, but I am getting the feeling they will only start trying to save the economy when it gets near election time

they don't care about elections when those that hold the power can simply be appointed no matter what people vote for

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8 hours ago, sezze said:

The 500 baht was there some years ago , imho , it won't stop people coming . They should however get rid of the COE , since this is way too much paperwork , and it sets people ( including me ) off . In my opinion , the COE is the single thing which does make people not coming Thailand , even if everything is open .

Fully vaxed , travel insurance , i don't think anybody would now travel without it , but ok let's make it mandatory , and PCR test on arrival and you are good to go . Anything more will get more and more people say , naah don't bother ...

I dont get it. The COE was the simplest thing I've ever done when it comes to Thai gov stuff. A website that finally works, looking at you 90d report. Few clicks, got first approval day after, booked hotel, few more clicks, got approval within 1 hour.

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The COE must be discarded, also all the insurances, when you are 70 like me the cost for a full year is more than $2000...   I am told that next year at 71, the rate will double... I am fully AZ vaccinated and I have savings at the bank to self-insure. 


Foreigners living in Pattaya are retired people and if you keep the mandatory insurances then Pattaya will be empty except for the short time tourists...  Simply make it easy to travel to Thailand like it is easy to travel to Spain, full vaccination and a visa is enough, let the people spend their money in Thailand on the local Thai economy instead of big insurances corporations.  

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On 10/11/2021 at 7:37 PM, AKJeff said:

I read this all the time on this forum.  I am not saying this should or shouldn't be a standard but it is not.  I am in Colombia right now.  No required vaccine, no required test, no quarantine, no visa, no COE.


Next stop in about a week is Panama.  If you have had the vaccine then the same as Columbia.  If you you haven't then you must present a negative test taken within 72 hours of boarding your flight or take a test upon landing in Panama and quarantine for 72 hours then have a second test.  If both are negative then you are out of quarantine.


There are plenty of countries and airlines that are not making people take test and certainly not requiring PCR test before flight.  


This is what Thailand must compete against.  Their choice but it is a lot easier to go to many other places.  People like to follow the path of least resistance.

Can add Costa Rica to this list as well. Fully vaccinated, no covid test required for entry. Now I know what everyone is thinking, totally reckless, and will backfire very soon. Well they have been using this policy since last Oct/Nov, and Covid "somehow" is still not running rampant. Earlier last year, like most other places they had high rates, but the past year, despite open boards, is as good as anywhere else. Yup, they did this even before there was a vaccine available.


Lock-downs really don't work, at best it "slows the spread, a little", doesn't stop it. The Delta variant hit hard worldwide, and infection rates fairly similar worldwide, irregardless of travel restrictions, harsh lock-downs. etc.


Most governments, are still in fear of the "XXX variant", which only comes out after 2200, and causes instant death to anyone within 10 meters of alcohol, and possible loud music. Apparently like vampires it has to hide during the day. 


 Yes, I already have my ticket for Costa Rica, leaving in 2 weeks. However hoping Thailand actually comes around this time, and truly opens up in Nov, if so will come back in Dec, for 2 or 3 months min, maybe even get retirement visa or something, however NOT going to spend 5 or 7 days in a ASQ "jail", just for the privilege of entry... way way to many other places available this winter.

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I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think the Thai government will be dropping the requirement of $100K insurance and a CoE anytime soon. 


Tourists leaving the country without paying for medical treatment has been a point of contention for quite some time (since well before Covid), and authorities have been very vocal about needing to fix this situation.  I would assume that the government sees this as an ideal opportunity to impose their goal of mandatory health insurance for tourists, while positioning it as a Covid requirement. 


And, if $100k of general health insurance (including Covid coverage) is required, then I'd bet that the CoE will remain as a requirement since someone will need to ensure that every person traveling to Thailand has the correct insurance. The airlines aren't going to read the fine print of every passenger's insurance policy, so it'll be up to the Thai consulates - just as it is today. 

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