'Conditions can be harsh': Britons given Thailand travel warning as not following guidance could land them in detention centres


Britons have been given essential guidance on travelling to Thailand

Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 02/06/2024

- 09:10

Updated: 04/06/2024

- 10:46

Britons have been given new information on travelling to Thailand

Thailand is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world and an incredibly popular holiday hotspot among Britons.

The UK Government recently updated its advice on holidaying in Thailand, with some essential information on visas.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said: "This advice reflects the UK Government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

"The authorities in Thailand set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Royal Thai Embassy in the UK.


Thailand is an incredibly popular tourist hotspot


"From June 1, 2024, British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand without a visa (visa exemption) for the purpose of tourism and short-term business engagements for a period not exceeding 60 days.

"If you intend to stay longer (for work, study or other reasons) you need a visa before you travel.

"For more information on visas or entry requirements, contact the Royal Thai Embassy or local Immigration Office.

"If you stay beyond the period of your visa, you will be fined 500 Thai baht a day up to a maximum of 20,000 baht.

"You risk being: held in detention, deported at your own expense, and banned from re-entering Thailand for up to 10 years. Conditions in detention centres can be harsh."

The FCDO also provided information on passport validity requirements. Britons were warned: "Your passport must be valid for at least six months from when you enter Thailand.

"You could be refused entry to Thailand if your passport is damaged or has pages missing.

"If you’re a dual national, to avoid problems at immigration, you must leave Thailand on the same passport you used to enter.

"If you need to renew or apply for a new British passport, see overseas British passport applications."

There are still some Covid rules Britons should be aware of when visiting Thailand. The FCDO said: "Countries may restrict travel or bring in rules at short notice. Check with your travel company or airline for changes."

Those who test positive for Covid may need to stay where they are until they test negative, as well as seek treatment there. Holidaymakers were advised to read TravelHealthPro's general Covid advice for travellers.


Thailand beach

Thailand is known for its spectacular scenery


Britons who are visiting Thailand and then travelling to a country that requires an RT-PCR test for entry will need to buy medical insurance that covers Covid treatment before arriving in Thailand.

Those intending to travel to Thailand may need some non-Covid-related vaccinations. For guidance on this, Britons should consult TravelHealthPro. This may include a yellow fever vaccination in some circumstances.

Britons were recently warned as the "fatal" disease was spotted around the globe, including a popular tourist hotspot.

The FCDO also provides essential information on customs rules and importing cigarettes.

Areas where FCDO advises against travel in Thailand

The FCDO said: "Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice. Consular support is also severely limited where FCDO advises against travel."

Pattani province

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Pattani province.

Yala province

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Yala province.

Narathiwat province

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Narathiwat province.

Southern Songkhla province

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Southern Songkhla province, except for:

  • the areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom
  • the areas north-west of the train line which runs between Hat Yai and Padang Besar

Hat Yai to Padang Besar train line

FCDO advises against all but essential travel on the Hat Yai to Padang Besar train line.

Britons considering holidaying in Thailand should consult the FCDO's guidance on warnings and insurance, safety and security, health, regional risks and getting help if needed.

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