Registration for Thailand’s revamped ‘Test and Go’ travel system opens today
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Good news for those looking to visit Thailand, the country restarts its Test & Go after being on pause since December.
Prior to today, travellers visiting the country were subject to a mandatory period of quarantine for a minimum of seven days whether they were vaccinated or not.
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Under the revamped Test and Go guidelines, from 1 February, travellers will have to take a PCR test on arrival and then test again five days later. Travellers will then have to isolate in an approved hotel for at least one day following the first test while awaiting their results, and then once again for the fifth test.
According to The Thaiger, you will be able to travel freely between the two test days provided you download a tracking app that gives Thai authorities permission to trace your movements while in the country. You are also able to stay at different hotel locations for the first and fifth-day tests.
This will be a slight revision to the previous Test & Go rules where travellers in the program only had to take one PCR test on arrival. Additionally, visitors to Thailand will also require proof of their hotel bookings for the first and fifth days when testing is required.
What are the requirements for Test & Go?
As reported by Thaiger, visitors to Thailand will need the following:
- Proof of hotel booking for Day 1 and Day 5 in Thailand
- Confirmed payment or proof of booking for a SHA+ approved hotel
- Pre-payment for the two RT-PCR tests
- Certificate of vaccination or vaccine passport
- Proof of a negative result from an RT-PCR test issued no more than 72 hours before departure
- Thailand Pass QR code (Click HERE for the official website run by the Department of Consular Affairs. The Thailand Pass is free. Watch out for other sites seeking payment.)
The update will be welcomed by travellers after seeing an earlier glimpse of travel hope back in early November 2021. During this period Thailand permitted vaccinated travellers from 61 countries to enter its borders without quarantining, only to suspend the scheme on 20 December following the first confirmed omicron infection.
The mandatory quarantine, which came in the same month British Airways cancelled all flights to Bangkok until Autumn 2022, was another hammer blow for the Thai tourism sector.
Before the pandemic, in 2019, leisure and hospitality contributed 21.9% to the country’s economy, with a record 40 million visitors flocking to its golden beaches and historic cities. Post-pandemic, however, visitor numbers have since dropped by a staggering 99.5%.
Plans are also now afoot to expand the other type of Thai quarantine waiver, the Sandbox, whereby vaccinated tourists agree to stay in one location for a week. Currently operating on the western coastline in Koh Samui and Phuket, it may be extended up the eastern reaches as well, including popular beach destinations Pattaya and Koh Chang.
Before you get too excited about the prospect of full moon parties, it’s worth noting that it is still not quite business as usual in the country. While the government has just extended the hours to which restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol (11 p.m.), bars and nightclubs will still remain closed for the foreseeable.
Featured image by Getty
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