Thailand removes on-arrival Covid-19 tests

The past two months saw the gradual relaxation of Thailand’s travel requirements. For example, the pre-flight RT-PCR test requirement has been scrapped, and the mandatory insurance coverage has been reduced.

It appears that the country is further lowering the requirements for travellers.

On 22nd April 2022, the government announced that visitors will no longer need to undergo on-arrival Covid-19 tests, and stay at a required Test & Go hotel from 1st May 2022, in a bid to encourage tourists to return. Here are the details of what we know so far.

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Thailand scraps Covid-19 tests and Test & Go process from 1st May 2022

On 22nd April 2022, authorities announced that travellers will no longer be required to do an RT-PCR test, or complete a Test & Go hotel stay before the test is complete, shared General Prayut according to The Bangkok Post.

To clarify, travellers will no longer need to book a one-night stay in a SHA-certified hotel to receive their Thailand Pass QR codes, for safe entry into the Land of Smiles.

Vaccinated visitors will also not be required to undergo tests for Covid-19 upon arrival at the airport anymore.

Self-tests during stay recommended for vaccinated travellers

Self-tests using antigen kits will be recommended for vaccinated travellers during their stay to be extra safe, especially if they do experience Covid-19 symptoms.

Upon testing positive, they’ll be expected to rely on their Covid-19 travel insurance polices – minimum value of US$10,000 – and foot their own bills for treatment, said Prime Minister Prayut.

Those who have not been vaccinated are also allowed to enter Thailand, as long as proof can be provided in the form of:

  • 1 x negative RT-PCR Test prior to entry
  • Test must be valid within 72 hours of trip
  • Undergo a 5-day quarantine
  • Take a second RT-PCR Test on 4th or 5th day of stay

As an added precaution, they’ll be encouraged to conduct self-antigen tests, should they experience symptoms during their stay in Thailand.

Finally, tourists who are deemed to be “high-risk” after possible Covid-19 exposure, will have to undergo quarantine for 5 days.

Thailand looks to welcome more tourists in 2022

The removal of the RT-PCR test requirement was proposed in April to attract more foreign tourists. It does seem like Thailand is proceeding as scheduled to reduce travel restrictions phase by phase.

For context, this proposal was floated by the Department of Disease Control (DDC) to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on 8th April 2022.

This was also based on the insight that most countries are heading towards gradual relaxation of travel restrictions, to open up our nations to cross-border travel once more, now that most populations are achieving high rates of vaccinations.

One step closer towards pre-Covid travel

With daily case numbers stabilising and restrictions slowly relaxing, it’s safe to say that Thailand seems to be moving even closer towards pre-Covid travel norms.

We’re hopeful that with everyone’s cooperation, tourism-based providers will soon be able to welcome customers as well as see a boost in their livelihoods.

Until then, let’s continue to keep ourselves and everyone else by washing our hands and wearing our masks.

Cover images adapted from (L-R): Prostooleh via Freepik, tawatchai07 via Freepik

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