After the suspension of Test&Go for new signups for the past month, a Thai Government meeting today resulted in the decision to resume the program from February 1, 2022.
Sources of the administration and the Covid Administration Council have said that the program is expected to be rebooted with certain modifications to the original version which would include additional tests (two in total) and stricter health monitoring.
As always none of these tidbits or even a full news summary mean anything until the decisions are officially announced in the Royal Gazette in order to become law.
And as we’ve seen in the past what is the law today can be withdrawn at a whim which doesn’t exactly instill confidence in travelers who have to prebook, prepay and meticulously plan their holiday well in advance.
Edit: The CCSA meeting has ended and these are the conclusions (in Thai):
- All countries/nationalities are eligible to participate in Test&Go
- Travelers must prepay for two RT-PCR tests
- Travelers must stay at a hotel on arrival day (0/1) and day 5 [doesn’t make any sense IMHO]
- Travelers must remain at the hotel for test results
- The hotels can be different hotels but require specific partner hospitals for PCT Tests.
- Insurance must cover all instances and travelers will be quarantined or sent to hospital if Covid positive.
- If there is a major incident (outbreak), the scheme could be abandoned and changed to “Sandbox”
What is this nonsense again that you have to return to a random hotel on day 5 to facilitate your second PCR test??
The Bangkok Post reported this morning that confidence is high the program would be available again sometime in early February.
The Test & Go programme will be reintroduced soon while entry rules under the scheme will be tweaked to allow close monitoring of overseas arrivals’ health, said Gen Supoj Malaniyom, head of operations at the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Gen Supoj, also secretary-general of the National Security Council, added that Test & Go rules need to be tightened. The CCSA is looking into ways to monitor the health of overseas arrivals during the first seven days of entry.
It appears that under the tightening of the programme, arrivals will undergo two RT-PCR tests during their initial seven days, the first upon arrival and the second on the fifth or sixth day. …
What we see here has already been retroactively implemented for those who had a Thailand Test&Go pass issued on or before December 22, 2022. The second PCR test which has been made mandatory and is administered free of charge when presenting the pink health control document at designated hospitals and clinics. Originally only one PCR test was required.
Also on Wednesday, the Public Health Ministry suggested that overseas visitors take out comprehensive health insurance that covers all Covid-19 treatment cases. Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the public health permanent secretary, said visitors must ensure they are fully covered for all types of Covid-19 treatments.
Partial insurance coverage leaves the government to pick up the rest of the bill. So far, 100 million baht of state funds have been disbursed. “We will no longer subsidise.
I’d call on the government to present a range of exact cases and circumstances during the past six or even twelve months where new entries have resulted in unpaid medical bills because this narrative is completely bogus.
It’s been the law for the past year that foreigners entering Thailand have to carry sizeable medical insurance that covers Covid treatment. How would any foreigner require a subsidy under this framework?
One niche could present a problem here, namely asymptomatic cases who are forced into quarantine without any specific treatment and who are also refused follow-up PCR testing to determine if there was a false result on the first go. Many insurance policies will not pay for those and rightfully so.
It’s absolutely unacceptable that Thailand is forcing people who are totally fine into a two-week quarantine at their own cost. This is one of the largest concerns potential visitors express after several horror stories in the press showcasing where people ended up and how they’ve been treated by the authorities.
As long as this policy prevails I could not in any good conscience recommend people to visit Thailand for holiday, especially with family.
The Thai Test&Go program is expected to open up again for applications once the program reboots from February 1, 2022. A respective government meeting concluded with these results today and any decisions will go through the appropriate channels before becoming law.
As we’ve seen so often with Covid whatever is said today can be invalidated a short time after as new cases and variants of the virus pop up. One simply has to take chances when traveling these days and make travel plans as flexible as possible.
We’ll update this or write up a new article as things progress.