11 July 2024

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport saw a large increase in international arrivals yesterday (Sunday), as those travelling to the country no longer need a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test before their departure.

The airport was filled with international arrivals on a Sunday afternoon, a bustling atmosphere which has not been seen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, with many airport officials and hotel representatives greeting them for RT-PCR tests upon arrival.

Since the cancellation of the pre-arrival RT-PCR test requirement, the number of arrivals has nearly doubled to 11,000-12,000 passengers per day. At the same time, the number of inbound flights has also increased.

Thai PBS reporters spoke to one of the airport’s staff, who said that the RT-PCR test results are now available in 3-4 hours. This means many arrivals may not have to stay overnight at a hotel to wait for the results, which may encourage more people to travel into Thailand.

Since April 1st, those arriving in Thailand, under “Test and Go”, “sandbox” or other quarantine programs, have no longer needed a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test certificate, issued within the 72 hours prior to departure.

All arrivals from abroad still need to take RT-PCR tests upon arrival and must stay in their pre-booked hotels until a negative result is available, usually for one night. They are also required to take a self-administered rapid antigen test fivedays after arrival. If the tests are positive they will have to be treated.