Travelers to enter Thailand under the Test&Go scheme can now apply for an appropriate Thailand Pass under new conditions (only one PCR Test+Hotel Night upon arrival) as the system has just refreshed effective today, March 1, 2022.
As previously announced the requirement for the second PCR Test & second hotel night has been dropped and the insurance requirement adjusted down to $20,000 (from $50,000 previously).
I checked just now shortly after midnight on March 1, 2022 and to my amazement, they managed to already display the new requirements.
Being able to apply under the new conditions from now on means arrivals under this new setup won’t be available until at least a week, depending on how fast your application is processed.
There will still be a test required on day 5 but it will be a self-administered antigen test with the results being submitted by the traveler.
You can access the official Thailand Pass website here to lodge your application.
The following documents are listed as a requirement for participation in Test&Go:
- Passport and Thai Visa (if required)
- Certificate of Vaccination
- Paid AQ / SHA Extra+ hotel reservation confirmation for 1 day (Day 1), and the booking must include the fee for 1 RT-PCR test, 1 ATK self-test kit and airport transfer
- Insurance with minimum coverage of 20,000 USD (not required for Thai nationals / foreign residents in Thailand can use social security or certificate from their employer)
The website also lists three different types of acceptable THAILAND BASED insurance policies one can purchase (after glancing over them I can recommend TWO):
You might be able to get a cheaper or more suitable plan with your own travel insurance or another provider in your home country so please compare. These insurance plans here have the advantage that they are local and there won’t be a problem with advancing any money should the worst happen and you’ll be hospitalized.
Keep in mind that at least the AXA Insurance doesn’t include costs for HOTEL accommodation should you test positive. There is also a 75 year age limitation to this plan.
Remember you need to book an approved hotel as well as the transfer to it and the PCR Test. This usually comes in a package offered by the hotel. With that confirmation which the hotel will send you as a separate document, you can then apply for the Thailand Pass.
PLEASE NOTE THE HOTEL NEEDS TO THEN RECONFIRM THE BOOKING AGAIN IN THE SYSTEM BEFORE ANY PROCESSING WILL TAKE PLACE. This has been the source of a lot of confusion in the last few weeks but most reputable hotels know the drill now.
While we’re on the topic of reputable hotels, do not book cheap local hotels for this arrival no matter if they’re certified or not. There have been a lot of sketchy cases where travelers tried to be cheap and then mysteriously tested positive at the hotel’s hospital partner which will then profit from further Covid treatment (forced quarantine) of the guest. Book a good international hotel with a reliable hospital partner. I used Grand Hyatt Erawan & MedPark and was highly satisfied.
Here is my article from last week when these changes were first announced:
It’s a good decision that the rigid requirement of Day 5 PCR Testing and mandatory hotel stay has been scrapped. It was a huge expense, entirely unnecessary, and also an exponential risk for people traveling. If you test positive then it’s off to the Gulag. At least with the self-administered tests, there is less risk of that happening as these are unsupervised.
The second hotel stay plus PCR test added a good US$200 worth of expenses to the trip. A nuisance for those who actually live in Thailand and wouldn’t need to book a room. In the case of tourists and business travelers who would need a hotel room anyway, it’d just be the cost for the test and the associated risk.
Those travelers who have already booked and have had their Thailand Pass approved under the current conditions with two tests and two nights hotel should check with the property for refund options on the second portion. You’d need to re-apply for a new Thailand Pass though.
As far as changes are concerned I don’t expect the reduction in insurance requirement from $50,000 to $20,000 to make much of a difference in terms of the premium on any policy should you need to buy one. Most insurance policies cover way more than the small required sum and therefore the drop won’t be reflected in the premium.
The new Test&Go application is now available as of March 1, 2022. Applications lodged previously are subject to the old requirements. This means that with an advised 7-10 days to process the application you would look at arriving at the second week of March even if you apply from now on.
Keep in mind, that your own country might have a different interpretation of “fully vaccinated” than Thailand does including this whole booster shot situation. As of now Thailand doesn’t require any booster doses and they also fully accept the single J&J shot. I always recommend checking out your home countries requirements after returning from Thailand as well to have all the facts ready before planning a trip.
Last but not least: Don’t be cheap. Book a decent hotel, hospital partner, and insurance. Trying to save a little bit of money can cost you dearly if a sketchy hotel/hospital is involved.