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Thailand Resumes Visa-Free Access for Russian Tourists

Russia hasn't yet resumed flights with Thailand, a popular tourist destination for its citizens. Pixabay

Thailand has restored visa-free access to Russian tourists months after it first imposed coronavirus border restrictions, Interfax cited the royal kingdom’s tourism ministry as saying Wednesday.

Thailand, a popular tourist destination that has escaped relatively unscathed from the Covid-19 pandemic, began reopening its borders in October to kick-start its battered tourism industry. All new arrivals from countries deemed to be low-risk are required to spend 14 days in self-paid hotel quarantine.

Russian passport holders are allowed to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without obtaining a tourist visa, according to Interfax and the website of the Thai Embassy in Moscow. 

Instead of a visa, Rusian tourists will need to apply for a document known as a “certificate of entry,” or a COE.

The visa-free application process takes around seven working days, according to the instructions on the Thai embassy’s website updated Wednesday.

Tourists wishing to spend up to 90 days in Thailand need to apply for both a tourist visa and a COE, while visits up to 270 days require a special tourist visa (STV). 

After grounding nearly all international flights in late March as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the country, Russia has gradually reopened flights to a dozen countries it deemed safe for travel in recent months. Thailand is not yet listed among those countries.

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