Travelers to Thailand via its “Test & Go” entry scheme are about to save money and time when the new rules issued by Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) take effect on March 7.
Foreign tourists arriving from that day will only have to undergo one PCR test instead of two and will be allowed to prepay for one night of accommodation rather than several.
Although the updated regulation takes effect on March 1, it will only apply to visitors arriving in the country after March 7.
Travelers still need to await tests results in isolation, which explains the accommodation night, but they no longer need to take a further PCR test on day 5. Instead, they will undergo an antigen test, which is up to five times less expensive and can be carried out in isolation.
A series of other aspects have been improved. Here’s a rundown of the key points to have into account when traveling to Thailand.
New ports of entry – those arriving by air will continue to enter via direct international or domestic flights. The country reopened land checkpoints in Nong Khai, Udon Thani, and Songkhla. Only private yachts are allowed to enter via water.
Entry registration system – passengers traveling by air and land will need to use the Thailand Pass system whilst those entering via water will need to obtain an entry certificate.
Quarantine requirement – quarantine is no longer required, only the isolation day while awaiting the PCR test results.
Accommodation – visitors need proof of prepayment for one night of lodging in a government-approved hotel, such as SHA Extra Plus (SHA++), or an alternative isolation facility.
Health insurance – the minimum coverage for the insurance policy has been lowered from $50,000 to only $20,000. This requirement does not apply to Thai nationals and legal residents who are covered by the country’s national healthcare system.
Antigen test on day 5 – All arrivals need to take an additional self-administered rapid antigen test on day five and report the method and results to health authorities.
Probably the only entry requirement that remains unchanged is the need to provide a vaccine certificate or proof of recovery on arrival.
With roughly 302,000 visitors since the Test & Go scheme started, the industry recovery is having a hard time picking up.
Only in 2019, Thailand saw 40 million arrivals. Tourism representatives expect to be able to attract more tourists with fewer restrictions. Time will tell.