Thailand to scrap RT-PCR tests, ‘Test & Go’ for vaccinated arrivals from May 1
The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) decided today (Friday) to scrap the requirement for RT-PCR testing of overseas arrivals, and the “Test and Go” scheme for fully vaccinated travelers from May 1st , to simplify entry to Thailand, as the country prepares for more easing of restrictions in line with the COVID-19 situation.
Self-administered rapid antigen (ATK) COVID-19 tests are recommended during their stay.
The “Thailand Pass” system, however, remains in place, in which vaccinated travelers are required to present their vaccination proofs and insurance policies.
The minimum travel insurance coverage will be reduced from US$20,000 to $10,000.
Arrivals who are not fully vaccinated (min 2 doses) must still enter quarantine for five days. If, however, they can prove that they were tested negative by an RT-PCR test, conducted no more than 72 hours prior to departure, they will be exempted from quarantine, according to CCSA Spokesperson Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin.
Under the “Test and Go” scheme, fully vaccinated travellers are required to undergo RT-PCR tests upon arrival and isolate in a government-approved hotel for a night while waiting for the results. If their test is negative, they can leave and travel around the country, but are required to self-administer a rapid antigen test on the fifth day.
The CCSA also decided to allow restaurants, which have received “SHA Plus” certification or meet the “Thai Stop COVID 2 Plus” standard in so called “sandbox” and “high surveillance” provinces, which now cover the entire country, to serve alcohol to dine-in customers until midnight, instead of 11pm, said Dr. Taweesin.
Pubs and bars will remain closed for now, he said, unless they receive permission to operate as eateries, adding that a work-from-home policy is a choice for individual entities.
The CCSA adjusted the COVID-19 zoning of the country, also effective from May 1st. It reduced the number of provinces in the controlled (orange) zone from 20 to none and increased provinces in the high surveillance (yellow) zone from 47 to 65, said Dr. Taweesin.
The number of provinces in the “sandbox” (blue) zone has been increased from 10 to 12. They include Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phang-nga, Phetchaburi, Phuket and two additional provinces which are Rayong and Songkhla.
Over 646,000 foreign travelers have visited Thailand this year, according to the CCSA.