On Friday April 22nd, authorities in Thailand announced that from May 1st the country will remove entry restrictions for vaccinated travelers. The move is an attempt to boost its important and damaged tourism sector. All travelers must register for a Thailand pass online prior to arrival.
The announcement means the elimination of the current pandemic screening system for passengers, known as “Test & Go,” which complicates tourist arrivals to the country. Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha anonced that Thailand depends on tourism to improve its economy.
We cancel the ‘Test & Go’, changing it to antigen testing. Many countries are changing their measures.Prayut Chan-ocha, Thailand’s Prime Minister
According to Travel + Leisure, unvaccinated travelers who arrive without a negative Covid-19 test will be required to book a minimum 5-day stay in an approved hotel, quarantine, and get tested with a PCR test on day 5 of their trip. They may skip quarantine and travel freely throughout Thailand if they arrive in the country with a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their trip. Before May 1st, vaccinated travelers must pay for at least one night in a government-approved hotel, take a PCR test upon arrival, take a rapid antigen self-test on day 5 of their trip, and obtain an insurance policy with at least $20,000 in coverage
The Covid-19 control center (CCSA) posted on its Facebook page a “recommendation” for vaccinated passengers to undergo an antigen test, especially if they have symptoms.
The CCSA added that unvaccinated travelers and tourists should present a negative PCR performed within the last 72 hours and undergo another one 4 to 5 days after landing in the country. Authorities will reduce the minimum health insurance coverage from $20,000 to $10,000.
Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on the tourism sector, which before the pandemic accounted for 12 to 20 percent of Thai GDP. Last month, the Thai Hotel Association called on authorities to open the borders to unrestricted tourism amid fears that the country would lose market share to other countries in the region.
International tourism in Thailand fell from 39.8 million visitors in 2019 to 6.7 million in 2020 and 420,000 last year, with a 90 percent drop in revenue, according to Hotel Association data.