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Anutin says reduced Test & Go insurance requirements enough to cover Covid costs

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: PR Bangkok

Following the CCSA’s decision yesterday to lower the insurance coverage required of overseas arrivals, the health minister says the new figure is enough to cover Covid treatment. The mandatory insurance coverage required to enter Thailand will be reduced from US$50,000 to US$20,000 from March 1.

Anutin Charnvirakul says the amount was lowered in order to reduce the costs of travelling to the kingdom and to encourage more foreign tourists to visit. According to a Bangkok Post report, he says figures from the National Health Security Office indicate that treatment costs for severe Covid cases are usually around 300,000 baht per person.

“If coverage was set at $30,000 it would add burdens to those visiting for pleasure and for business. So, it is reduced further to at least $20,000 which should cover the medical costs.”

At its meeting yesterday, the CCSA decided to cut the insurance requirements, as well as ditching the day 5 PCR test from March 1. Currently, all overseas arrivals have to take a PCR test on arrival and again on day 5 of their stay. Both tests require a mandatory booking in a SHA Plus hotel, where guests must wait in their room on both days until they receive a negative result.

The second – day 5 – test has been widely seen as a significant deterrent for would-be tourists, with tourism operators demanding all PCR testing be dropped. The government has partially conceded, and from March 1, the day 5 test will be replaced with a self-administered antigen test. However, the requirements for a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure, plus the PCR test on arrival, still remain, as does the Thailand Pass process.

Anutin has played down concerns about the day 5 test being scrapped, saying antigen testing is an effective screening mechanism and pointing out that the vast majority of infections in Thailand are not imported, but cases of local transmission. He has repeated his call for everyone to get vaccinated and avoid high-risk activities in order to beat the latest wave of the virus.

“To get zero cases, we will have to go for lockdown measures, but we’ve already passed that point and the virus doesn’t seem to cause severe illnesses like it did in the beginning.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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