Thailand will relax travel requirements for foreign tourists starting March 1, 2022. This news was announced by the Thailand COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
Reported by CNA, Thursday (24/2/2022), starting March 2022, foreign tourists who have been fully vaccinated will only be required to undergo one RT-PCR test upon arrival. They will also undergo a self-administered antigen test after five days.
However, foreign tourists must still have an RT-PCR test within 72 hours before traveling to Thailand. Foreign tourists (tourists) are also required to spend their first night in a quarantine hotel or in another approved quarantine facility.
“This will reduce costs at quarantine facilities,” said CCSA spokesman Taweesin Wisanuyothin. “Still, you need to download the Mor Chana tracking app and submit the self-test results.”
The Thai government will also reduce the amount of travel insurance coverage from US$50,000 (Rp719 million) to US$20,000 (Rp287 million) starting March 1.
On February 1, 2022, Thailand resumed the Test & Go tourism scheme after suspending it since December 2021 due to the widespread deployment of the Omicron variant.
Under the Test & Go policy, foreign tourists who have been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 are allowed to enter Thailand and travel freely if their Covid-19 test result is negative on arrival.
However, they are required to stay in prepaid accommodation on the 5th day of their stay to undergo a second RT-PCR test.
According to CCSA data on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, more than 300 thousand tourists have applied to enter Thailand. 80 percent of the applications have been approved.
The majority of foreign tourists come from Russia, Germany, France, England and Singapore. Meanwhile, the top three destinations are Bangkok, Phuket, and Chon Buri.
In early February 2022, 20 tourism organizations in Thailand asked the government to ease the Covid-19 requirements for foreign tourists. This request intends to increase on-time arrivals for the Easter holiday in April 2022.
“Countries that are our competitors in the field of tourism such as Vietnam and Japan are preparing to announce an easing of travel measures in April.
they said in a February 16 letter submitted to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and related officials.
“This means that tourists will choose to visit countries without these actions rather than coming to Thailand,” they added.
The tourism sector also asked CCSA to consider declaring Covid-19 an endemic disease by March 2022. It also requested the abolition of the RT-PCR test requirement upon arrival.
In addition to the plan to relax travel requirements for foreign tourists, other news came from Phuket. One of the popular destinations in the White Elephant Country, it plans to become the first province in Thailand to declare Covid-19 as endemic.
Local officials said the plan emerged even though the number of new Covid-19 cases continued to increase among tourists. “Phuket would be very happy to be the first province to declare it,” said Phuket Deputy Governor Pichet Panapong, Sunday, February 20, 2022, quoted by the Bangkok Post.
Panapong hopes this will help ease concerns about the virus and focus on economic recovery. He added that endemic status could be granted if the infection rate in a province did not exceed 10,000 new cases per day.
Also, the fatality rate does not exceed 0.1 percent, and more than 80 percent of people at risk have already received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to Thailand’s National Committee for Infectious Diseases.
Quoted from the Our World in Data page, as of February 13, 2022, a total of more than 53.2 million or 76.4 percent of the Thai population who have received the first dose of vaccination. Then, more than 49.5 million or 71 percent of the population had complete dose vaccination and booster injections were given to more than 19.6 million or 28.2 percent of the population.