On-Arrival COVID Test to Be Scraped in Thailand from May

In its latest measure to revive the battered tourism industry, Thailand will remove a requirement for arrivals vaccinated against COVID-19 to undergo a test and brief quarantine on arrival in May, an official said on Friday.

Visitors are encouraged to perform antigen self-tests during their stay, instead of the current “test and go” scheme, where arrivals must isolate in a hotel while awaiting the results of a test on arrival.

The new measure follows the removal last month of a pre-departure test requirement.

“Adjusting measures has an impact on drawing in tourism receipts,” Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokespersons for the coronavirus task force, told a news conference.

tourism is a crucial driver of the economy in Thailand, representing about 12% of GDP before the pandemic, when visitor numbers hit a record high.

Although Thailand is seeing a pickup in tourism, numbers are still down sharply from that level, with 210,800 arrivals in March, up from 6700 in the same period last year, but far short of the monthly average of 3.3 million in 2019.

still required for visitors, however, is online travel clearance for which proof of vaccination and insurance must be presented. “Thailand Pass” has long been a source of frustrations over the time taken to be granted approval.

Other rules eased on Friday include reducing the required insurance coverage to $10,000 and granting entry to unvaccinated visitors, providing they show a negative pre-departure PCR result.

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