CCSA meets tomorrow to decide fate of pre-departure PCR test

PHOTO: Ergin Yalcin/Getty Images

The requirement for overseas arrivals to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure from their home country could soon be scrapped. According to a Bangkok Post report, the CCSA will discuss dropping the requirement when it meets tomorrow.

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit from the Public Health Ministry says international arrivals would still be required to take a PCR test on arrival and a self-administered antigen test on day 5. Mandatory insurance coverage could also be reduced to US$10,000.

“Under the proposed entry rules, travellers under the Test & Go scheme would no longer be required to show negative RT-PCR test results up to 72 hours before departure to the kingdom.”

Officials have outlined 4 phases in the roadmap to declaring Covid-19 endemic, but Kiattiphum says Thailand will also need confirmation from the World Health Organisation before bestowing endemic status on the virus. The 4-stage plan, which is also up for consideration at tomorrow’s CCSA meeting, looks like this:

Stage 1 between March 12 and early April: the “combat” phase. Overseas arrivals take a PCR test on arrival and an antigen test on day 5. Unvaccinated travellers will be quarantined for 10 days. The country will remain in stage 1 as long as more than 3% of foreign arrivals test positive.

Stage 2, during April and May: the “plateau” phase. Fully vaccinated travellers will not need a pre-departure PCR test, but will need to take a PCR test on arrival and an antigen test on day 5. Unvaccinated arrivals will need to quarantine for 5 days. Thailand will remain at stage 2 for as long as Covid-19 is detected in between 1 and 3% of overseas arrivals.

Stage 3, between late May and June 30: the “declining” phase. Fully vaccinated arrivals can enter with no requirements. Unvaccinated travellers will need to take an antigen test on arrival. Test & Go will be ditched, but the Thailand Pass will remain. This phase will be for as long as infections are reported in fewer than 1% of foreign arrivals.

Stage 4, from July 1: the “post-pandemic” phase. This is when the government hopes the disease can be downgraded to endemic. International arrivals will be able to enter Thailand without restrictions, regardless of vaccination status.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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