The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) confirmed on Friday (April 22nd) that the requirement for fully vaccinated tourists to undergo a PCR test upon arrival will be removed as of May 1st.
Currently, foreign tourists and Thais from abroad are required to do an RT-PCR test even if they are vaccinated against Covid-19, and wait for the result in a quarantine hotel for 24 hours.
“Test and Go” to go
From May 1st the PCR test will be replaced by a much cheaper and much faster antigen test, and it will no longer be necessary to wait for the result in a quarantine hotel. This is the official end of the “Test and Go” program that began in November, and has undergone many changes since then.
Since April 1, visitors entering Thailand have already enjoyed more relaxed conditions after authorities dropped a negative pre-arrival RT-PCR Covid-19 test requirement. Yet the hotel sector remains adamant that a recovery is impossible until all the rules are completely removed.
The Tourism Ministry estimates Thailand will welcome at least 7 million foreign travellers this year, lower than the previous forecast of 10 million.
Thailand Pass to remain
However, the Thailand Pass will be maintained but should be much easier and faster to obtain as it will only be used to verify the applicant’s vaccination status and insurance certificate.
Travelers who have not been vaccinated or who have received only one vaccine will still have to undergo an RT-PCR test upon arrival and on the fourth or fifth day of their stay in the Kingdom, the CCSA added. They will also have to quarantine for 10 days.
The tourism sector and hotel operators had repeatedly called on the government to abolish the requirement, which pushes tourists to travel to countries that do not require additional testing, like Singapore and the Philippines.
Two years after the abrupt shutdown of tourism in Southeast Asia due to the pandemic, travelers are heading back to white sand beaches and warm climate: bookings by international airlines to Southeast Asia reached 38% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of March, according to the consultant ForwardKeys, quoted by Reuters.
Thailand’s tourism revenue in 2022 is forecast to rise to 1 trillion baht, or 30 per cent of the 3 trillion baht earned in 2019, but returning to pre-Covid levels may not happen before 2026 recently said the Bank of Thailand