Thailand reopens under new, more complicated Test & Go scheme
Thailand relaunched its Test & Go scheme on Tuesday, opening its doors to travellers from all countries instead of just 63 as it had done earlier.
The Foreign Ministry also began accepting Thailand Pass applications from 9am on Tuesday.
Under the new Test & Go scheme, travellers are required to book and pay for accommodation and RT-PCR tests on their first and fifth days in Thailand. Previously, travellers arriving under Test & Go were only required to spend one night in hotel and pay for one RT-PCR test.
This change in Test & Go regulations will be beneficial for hotels because they will be selling two nights instead of just one.
More than 2,000 hotels in 38 provinces with the SHA Extra Plus (SHA++) stamp are expected to benefit from the scheme, including 565 in Phuket, 198 in Krabi, 122 in Chiang Mai, 177 in Chonburi and 446 in Bangkok. These hotels are linked to hospitals that will conduct RT-PCR tests on visitors arriving under the Test & Go scheme.
Foreign travellers are also required to have insurance with a coverage of no less than US$50,000. If the insurance does not cover the cost of isolation after the traveller is infected or at high risk of infection, then the traveller must cover the cost of isolation themselves.
Vaccinated travellers or those who develop mild symptoms will be allowed to isolate in hospitels, while those in SHA++ hotels can continue staying in their hotel rooms. Doctors will keep an eye on the patients remotely in both cases.
Though Thailand has reopened, the procedure has become more complicated. When travellers submit proof of paid accommodation, the Thailand Pass system will give hotels 30 hours to approve the booking.
Once the booking is approved and the vaccination certificate verified, travellers will receive a QR code.
This QR code can then be used for the first RT-PCR test. Tourists staying in Thailand for more than five days will be required to show up at their booked hotel for a second RT-PCR test. If the second test is also negative, then visitors are free to travel across the country.
If tourists fail to show up on the fifth day or if hotels cannot contact them, then they are required to call the Tourist Police 1155 hotline.
The Test & Go scheme will be closed again if there is a spike in new Covid-19 cases.
Meanwhile, tourists are expected to spend about 60,000 baht per person and the Tourism Authority of Thailand expects some 200,000 arrivals monthly now that the country has reopened.