So, the Test and Go program started again with the year of the Tiger.
All new TEST & GO Thailand Pass applications must submit proof of prepayment for 2 RT-PCR tests and accommodation (SHA Extra Plus (SHA++), AQ, OQ, or AHQ) on Day 1 and Day 5, as well as a prearranged transfer on Day 1.TAT
And the above rules are for vaccinated travellers, and remember that you need to take a PCR from where you start your trip. Within 72 hours before travelling into Thailand. Those aged between 12-17 should have had at least one dose of vaccine.
The new Thai pass can be applied for 60 days in advance. Read about all the details on TAT.ORG/NEWS.
Thailand has reopened, but the process has become more detailed. When travellers deliver proof of paid accommodation, the Thailand Pass system will offer hotels 30 hours to authorise the booking.
Once the booking is approved and the vaccination certificate ascertained, travellers will obtain a QR code.
This QR code can then be utilised for the first RT-PCR test. Tourists who stay in Thailand for more than five days will be compelled to appear at their booked hotel for a second RT-PCR test.
If the following test is negative, tourists can travel across Thailand.
If travellers neglect to show up on the fifth day or if hotels cannot contact them. The hotels must call the Tourist Police 1155 hotline.
Prepare before travel:
(Disclaimer this is to the best of my knowledge, please double-check with official sites and be aware that the rules of travelling and entry have changed frequently since the start last year)
- Make sure you have a flight booking
- Fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before traveling.
- A Medical Certificate with an RT-PCR lab result proving that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before traveling.
- A Confirmed Payment for government approved accommodation the first and fifth night and pre payed 2 RT-PCR tests.
- Thailand Pass or COE (Certificate of Entry)
- A Covid-19 Insurance policy covering a minimum of 50.000 USD.
- Make sure to download the MorChana Application on your mobile phone
- Don’t forget the T8 Health form.
The Sandbox programs are still open as well.
The main markets for Thailand, such as China and Malaysia, are not open yet.But there are talks at this moment to commence “travel bubbles” with these two markets.
So, it will be interesting to see how many arrivals Test and Go will lead to. Some sources claim that it will lead to 300 000 to 500 000 arrivals within two months.
Just after New Year, the main arrivals were from Russia and Northern Europe, Sweden, Denmark, and the UK and Germany. There is more internet activity regarding bookings and travelling to Thailand. Bangkok Post also posted an article about the probability of Thailand going back to normality; Covid will be endemic before years end.
Test and Go right now and earlier Sandboxes.
I have personally been through two Sandboxes, the first in Phuket for two weeks and a more smooth one in Bangkok for a week. This February, I will go through a Test and Go. Filling in the forms usually are not that hard, but it requires a bit of patience.
I am currently working on my bookings for a Thai Pass since I have a working trip to Sri Lanka. What is important to know is that these hotel bookings are often not refundable. Dates can be changed only with very early amendments. So you prepay these nights and if you can not travel, probably all or some of the money is lost.
The other issue is of course if you prove positive. What will happen? Make sure that your insurance is able to cover the cost of a private hospital, or a so called hospitel that the hotel you stay with has a contract with. There are now stories about foreign travellers refusing to go to a hospital since they don’t feel sick. They are asymptomatic or with light symptoms. The strange question pops up, will your insurance cover a stay in a hospital or hospital if you are asymptomatic?
Try to find out which hospital the hotel has a contract with and check with your insurance.
So, while we are waiting for the situation to improve and rules to ease. Be aware that if you prove negative on a PCR it is all smooth. But if you prove positive the situation is a bit complicated.
Vaccinated travellers or those who develop mild symptoms staying in SHA++ hotels can continue staying in their hotel rooms according to The Nation.
If we believe the numbers, Thailand currently has about 7000 new Covid cases per day. We hope for the best and that the year of the Tiger will be a good one for Thailand. Some hopes are that it will be turn out to be the Golden Year for tourism catching up what has been lost for two years. But, it remains to see.
Once travel really takes off, I assume that travellers will travel where it is not complicated to go.
An update from The Nation says that 60,000 people signed up for Thailand Pass the first four days. It is clear that a lot of people miss the Land of Smiles.