Breaking News: changes for unvaccinated travellers
Thailand plans to scrap its unpopular Test & Go entry scheme, opting instead to adopt the simplified categories of “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” for international travellers arriving in the kingdom. The actual Thailand Pass – the online pre-registration system – will remain, although the paperwork has been vastly simplified by these changes.
The CCSA announced those major changes, among others, about the county’s Thailand Pass program during its meeting today.
Goodbye, Test & Go! International travellers arriving by air, who have been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, will no longer need to take a PCR test on arrival. The removal of the PCR testing for vaccinated travellers effectively abolishes the unpopular Test & Go entry scheme, which had required travellers to book an SHA+ hotel for one night of quarantine while waiting for their test results. No more Covid test, no more 1 day quarantine hotel for the vaccinated.
However, the CCSA still recommends vaccinated travellers take an ATK test on Day 5, with an expectation that they’ll self-monitor their health while in the kingdom. But this recommendation will not be enforced, according to the announcements today.
Unvaccinated travellers, who have submitted a negative PCR test within 72 hours before departure via the Thailand Pass system, will be treated the SAME as vaccinated travellers, with no PCR test on arrival and no quarantine.
However, those who do not submit a negative PCR test prior to departure will still be required to quarantine for 5 days upon arrival, with a PCR test between days 4-5.
For those who choose to enter Thailand at a land border, the entry requirements are a bit more tricky without a pre-flight PCR test…
Arrivals by land must take ATK test Those entering by land will be separated into two main groups: “short-term” and “long-term” travellers. Short-term travellers who plan to stay in Thailand for no more than 2 days, will NOT be required to register for Thailand Pass or buy insurance. Long-term travellers who plan to stay longer than 2 days must register for Thailand Pass and buy insurance.
This group is further divided into “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” categories. All long-term travellers must take an ATK test upon arrival. What happens next depends on your vaccination status. Vaccinated travellers with a negative ATK test may enter Thailand via land without quarantine, while unvaccinated travellers who pass their ATK test will still have to undergo a 5 day quarantine.
Anyone who tests positive will be required to quarantine for 5 days.
Additionally, “high-risk cases” ie. those who have been in close contact with confirmed cases of Covid-19 will be required to quarantine for 5 days. But this appears to be largely dependent on self-declaration of being a high-risk case, so choose your words wisely.
Health insurance minimums reduced Meanwhile, the required minimum health insurance coverage will also be reduced from US$20,000 dollar to US$10,000 for all travellers arriving by land and air. Except for short-term travellers entering by land who plan to stay less than 2 days. Everyone else must still purchase insurance, except…
Thai citizens and expats covered under the universal social security health care don’t need to purchase additional insurance when reentering the country.
Bars and restaurants can open until midnight Businesses also have plenty to celebrate. Restaurants that are SHA+ registered will be able to remain open until midnight, including ‘bars’ operating as ‘pseudo restaurants’. The ‘official’ requirement to stop alcohol sales by 11pm has been broadly flouted by tourists and locals alike in recent months, as nightlife owners have pushed to return to ‘normal’ operating hours and reboot their businesses.
The CCSA also discussed the re-opening of all land border checkpoints, and has reviewed the colour-coding of provinces based on their infection rates.
All this is expected to be enacted from May 1, next week. But a confirmed date has not been announced at this time. All the changes will need to be signed off and published in the Royal Gazette, expected to happen early next week.