Thailand is poised to remove its remaining Covid-19 restrictions by June 1 provided that daily cases significantly drop, the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn announced.
According to the minister, the “Test and Go” program and “Thailand Pass” registration would be lifted in eight weeks as long as there is no spike in infections or deaths during or following the Songkran festival in April.
The number of daily cases, which should include ATK test results from April, must be steady.
According to the minister, an acceptable number could be 50,000-60,000 new cases, while the mortality rate should remain below 100.
“If the government approves [this move] and the situation improves further, the ministry will propose lifting all travel restrictions on June 1,” he said, adding that this would apply to fully vaccinated travelers only.
Beginning April 1, travelers entering Thailand under the Test & Go scheme will no longer be requested to produce a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure, the CCSA announced on Mar. 18.
They must still book a hotel and take an RT-PCR test on the first day of their arrival, as well as an ATK on the fifth day.
However, the ministry will ask the Cabinet and the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to allow overseas tourists to take ATK tests on the first and fifth days of their stay instead of PCR tests, starting May 1.
The government and tourist boards must team up to propose further easing of travel restrictions, with a goal of receiving 7 million international arrivals this year
This timeline will benefit tourists, enhance the economy and be in line with the Health Ministry’s policy to move from pandemic to endemic status in July, said the minister.
The truth is that Thailand is afraid of falling behind other Asian countries in the battle for the highly competitive Asian tourism market.
“Thailand started like a rabbit, running quickly last year as we reopened to visitors. We cannot let the country fall behind as many nations are opening borders and have fewer restrictions than us,” Mr Phiphat said.