CCSA abolishes 2nd RT-PCR test for foreign arrivals
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Wednesday decided to cancel the requirement for foreign arrivals under the Test & Go scheme to receive a second RT-PCR test in the country.
During its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the CCSA also agreed to reduce health insurance coverage for foreign tourists from US$50,000 to $20,000 (648,000 baht).
The new rules will take effect on March 1, CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin said on Wednesday.
Under current rules, foreign tourists who arrive through the Test & Go scheme must book hotels in advance for the first day and fifth day of their stay so that they can take RT-PCR tests on these days.
Now, the second RT-PCR test will not be required and a hotel booking receipt for the fifth day will also not be needed, Taweesilp made clear.
Instead, foreign tourists will be required to take a rapid antigen test, or ATK, and report the result via the Mor Chana app.
Foreign tourists are required to download and use the app once they arrive.
The tourists are still required to register via the Thailand Pass website and they must show a negative RT-PCR test result taken not more than 72 hours before departure from their countries, Taweesilp said.
He said there had been 144,610 foreign arrivals from February 1 to 21 – 88,755 under Test & Go and 48,156 via the extended sandbox scheme.
Tourism operators and the Thai Chamber of Commerce had earlier called on the government to abolish the second RT-PCR test for foreign tourists, saying the test would unnecessarily add the burden of extra cost on them.
They pointed out statistics in recent days showing that most new cases were found among locals, not foreign arrivals. They said several other countries had also stopped the Covid-19 tests for foreign arrivals.
Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry reported on Wednesday that there were 21,232 confirmed new cases in the previous 24 hours, compared to 18,363 reported on Tuesday. The ministry said 168 of the 21,232 were imported cases.