I read on https://mobile.twitter.com/RichardBarrow/status/1275651072795783168 (mirror) that quite a few Thai citizens returning to Thailand over the past two months have tested positive for COVID-19 once in Thailand (at the airport or during the mandatory state quarantine). Are Thai citizens returning to Thailand tested for COVID-19 prior to taking the flight?

https://mobile.twitter.com/RichardBarrow/status/1275651072795783168 (mirror):

There has now been two cases so far of Thais returning from The Philippines with #COVID19 out of 961 returnees. The top 5 for most infections among returnees are:

  1. Quwait 34 out of 174 returnees
  2. Saudi Arabia 28/274
  3. Indonesia 65/913
  4. Pakistan 13/196
  5. Kazakhstan 2/55

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2 Answers 2


No, returning Thai citizens have not needed a pre-flight Covid test since at least late 2020. I'm not sure about the requirement mentioned in the previous answer or when that requirement expired.

Thai citizens were, however, required to submit a 'fit to fly' certificate. That requirement expired for all travelers on April 1st 2021.

As for not requiring a pre-flight Covid test, the Thai Embassy in the Hague states:

2.6 ข้อควรระวัง

  • ท่านต้องตรวจสอบเงื่อนไขเพิ่มเติมของสายการบิน เช่น เรื่องเอกสารต่าง ๆ ผลการตรวจหาเชื้อ COVID-19 และเวลาในการต่อเครื่องในแต่ละเมือง และดำเนินการตาม แม้จะเป็นเงื่อนไขซึ่งเพิ่มเติมจากข้อกำหนดของทางการไทยก็ตาม
  • แม้ท่านจะได้รับหนังสือรับรองการเดินทางเข้าประเทศไทยจากสถานเอกอัครราชทูตฯ (COE) แต่หากท่านไม่ปฏิบัติตามเงื่อนไขของสายการบินที่ท่านใช้บริการ สายการบินนั้น ๆ มีอำนาจที่จะปฏิเสธไม่ให้ท่านเดินทาง

Using Google Translate that means:

2.6 Caution

  • You must check the airline's additional conditions such as documentation, COVID-19 test results and connecting time in each city. and act accordingly Despite the conditions, which are not required by the Thailand official time
  • Even if you get a certificate from a trip to Thailand Embassy's (COE), but if you fail to comply with the conditions of the airline you use. That airline has the power to deny you travel.

In other words, you may still need a pre-flight test if the airline requires it. Let's look at Qatar Airways' guidance for travelling to Thailand, it states (today, 21 August 2021):

Non-Thai passengers are required to present a medical certificate* with a laboratory result indicating a negative COVID-19 test, using a RT-PCR test that is issued no more than 72 hours before departure.

Thai Nationals travelling to Thailand with Qatar Airways are no longer required to present either a COVID-19 RT-PCR test Medical Certificate OR a Fit to Fly Health Certificate. (This only applies to Thai passengers entering Thailand with a compulsory hotel quarantine, and does not apply to Thai nationals travelling for the Phuket Sandbox and the SamuiPlus programme.) Subject to change without prior notice. Kindly check the regulation before travel.

That page has been indexed by achrive.org with the earliest snapshot taken on 23 November 2020. At the time, the part about pre-flight PCR tests for Thai citizens read:

(*Thai Nationals travelling to Thailand on Qatar Airways are exempted from presenting an RT-PCR test medical certificate. Subject to change without prior notice. Kindly check the regulation before travel.)

As such, returning Thai nationals have been exempted from pre-flight Covid tests since at least 23 November 2020.


Yes, effective March 22, 2020, Thailand is requiring all passengers boarding flights to Thailand to present negative test results for COVID, with the certificate issued in the last 72 hours.

This applies to all passengers going to Thailand, Thai citizens or otherwise, although at time of writing travel for non-residents is essentially prohibited anyway. The restriction and how to interpret it has caused a lot of confusion and like all things coronavirus the situation is in flux, with Thailand repeatedly announcing plans to loosen restrictions only to change their mind.

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