AQ stands for Alternative Quarantine and is the option for unvaccinated travelers visiting Thailand.
Currently, you must go through a quarantine period of 5 days when you arrive in Thailand.
You can choose which hotel you stay in from a list of approved SHA+ hotels, which you must pay for.
Being a SHA+ hotel means more than 70 percent of the staff is fully vaccinated and each staff member is prepped with COVID-19 emergency solutions.
In this FAQ, I'll run through all the commonly asked questions about the Alternative Quarantine (AQ), and provide details on how you can avoid quarantine and still travel to Thailand.
1. How Long Do I Have to Quarantine For?
Unvaccinated travelers entering Thailand are subject to a 5-day Alternative Quarantine requirement.
When under the quarantine, you will not be able to leave the hotel during the 5-day period.
You will be tested on day 5 of your stay. If you test negative you can leave and travel around Thailand.
If you test positive for COVID-19 on day 5 then you be transferred to the partner hospital of the hotel.
2. Can I Avoid the Quarantine?
Yes. You can avoid the AQ requirement by taking an RT-PCR test up to 72 hours before traveling and uploading it to the Thailand Pass system.
If you still want to do the 5-day AQ, please read on.
2. What Are the AQ Hotel Facilities Like?
Of course a hotel will do its best to make the stay as appealing as possible, but obviously the more expensive the hotel the more frills you can expect.
At a minimum one can expect an extensive TV channel package, three meals a day delivered to your room, and access to an outdoor area for gentle exercise.
3. What Times Are Meals Brought to the Room?
Generally speaking, meal times are as follows:
- Breakfast: 7:00 AM – 09:00 AM.
- Lunch: 12:00 PM – 14:00 PM.
- Dinner: 18:00 PM – 20:00 PM.
4. Are the AQ SHA+ Hotels Only in Bangkok?
No, but under AQ you will need to stay in Bangkok if you arrive there. The other option is to fly direct to Phuket and do your AQ there.
5. How Do I Get to the Hotel From the Airport?
The SHA+ hotel bookings are packaged with a free transfer from the airport to the hotel.
6. How Can I Book an AQ Hotel?
7. What Are the Rules on Sharing Rooms?
Only married couples and parents with children are eligible to share rooms.
You’ll have to provide a copy of your marriage certificate as proof of your relationship. For children, you must provide a birth certificate or adoption certificate.
Singletons must have separate rooms.
8. Am I Allowed Alcohol in My Room?
No. There is no alcohol allowed. That said, some people have reported being able to get beer in some hotels. Additionally, your bags are not checked :). Duty Free, anyone?
9. Will the Hotel Provide Water?
Yes. Most hotels will provide 2-4 bottles of water per day.
10. Can I Get a Food Delivery Like a Pizza?
No outside food delivery is allowed unless a relative, who delivers it and signs a release form, cooks it at home.
11. Can I Go to 7-11 Or Any Other Local Shop?
No. You must stay in your room, or designated areas of the hotel. Some hotels do a 7-11 run a couple of times a day, but certain items aren't allowed, so you'll have to check the rules at your chosen hotel.
12. Am I Allowed to Use the Hotel Gym or Pool?
Not until day 5, when you hopefully test negative.
14. Will Housekeeping Clean My Room?
Yes. Bear in mind though that the schedule will differ between hotels. Generally speaking housekeeping will be provided twice. You will wait in another room, or a designated area, while your room is cleaned.
A laundry service will also be available (at your expense).
15. What Documents Do I Need to Enter Thailand?
You will need to upload the following in the Thailand Pass system:
- Your passport profile page
- Confirmed booking of AQ or SHA+ hotel 5-day Alternate Quarantine package
- A pre-booked RT-PCR test (may be included in your hotel booking package)
- A medical insurance policy covering the $10,000 minimum requirement
How Do I Get the Correct COVID-19 Insurance?
Please read this post for further details on getting your insurance from an approved company.
What Hotels Do You Recommend?
SHA+ hotels in Bangkok range from $70 – $200 a night.
The hotels are mostly 4 and 5 star, because, let's be frank, staying in a 2 star for 5 days without being able to leave would be a lot less pleasant than a top end hotel.
Top Pick: The Mövenpick – Sukhumvit 15
Having stayed here in the past, I can fully vouch for the Mövenpick.
It's 5 star, rooms have balconies, and it's centrally situated, with everything on your doorstep once you've finished quarantine – Asok station is just a five-minute walk.
A huge plus point is that you can rent gym equipment for your room during your stay.
Being able to exercise with weights each day will help you keep a healthy routine during quarantine, which will help with sleep, too.
The good news is that you can get a 10% discount if you book directly through the Mövenpick reservation team and say “TheThailandLife website referred me, so I get 10% discount”.
The package is very reasonable for a 5 star.
- Airport pickup
- Full board meals
- 20% discount on food and beverage (non-alcoholic)
- 3 COVID-19 tests during your stay
- Face masks, hand gel and infrared thermometer provided
- Hi-speed WIFI
- Rooftop area
- Swimming pool (but sadly you won't be able to use this during ASQ)
- Registered nurse on standby
- Free doctor consultation through a telemedicine service
* Smoking rooms are available on request.
Top tip: Don't forget to book directly and quote TheThailandLife for your 10% off.
Other Hotels You Might Consider
- Grande Centre Point Hotel Terminal 21
- Somerset Rama 9 Bangkok
- Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel
- The Sukosol
- The Salil Hotel Sukhumvit 57
- Lancaster Bangkok
- Maduzi Hotel
- Eleven Hotel Bangkok
- Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel Bangkok
- Arte Hotel
- SureStay Plus by Best Western
- Solitaire Bangkok Sukhumvit 11
- Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit
- Rembrandt Hotel & Suites
- Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Bangkok
Whether you choose to do a 5-day quarantine or go down the PCR pre-departure test route, you will need to use the Thailand Pass system (linked below).
The good news is that as an unvaccinated person, you can now visit Thailand.
Got a question you'd like to ask? Please leave it in the comments section below.