Details emerging from last Friday’s deliberations by the CCSA have now been published in the Royal Gazette, enacting them into law. Missing from the published guidelines about changes to the Thailand Pass, is any reference to a cut-off date which was both stated and then published by government representatives on Friday following a meeting of the CCSA.
Speaking to the deputy representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday, the spokesperson told The Thaiger…
“The date was shown through a PowerPoint presentation that was used in the CCSA meeting. It was actually a proposal only for discussion in the meeting, but as it was shown on television it was taken for a conclusion.
As for arrivals after 15 January for those with Thailand Pass QR codes already, this will be assessed and announced in due course.”
As of today, and sifting through the tea leaves, it would appear that travellers who already have a QR code for the Test & Go program, will be able to enter the country, even after January 15. But we would urge anyone intending to travel to Thailand at this time to consult with their Embassy and keep abreast of any future changes. You should also check re-entry procedures into your home country, and any changes to flight schedules.
For the immediate future, and given the rise of new Covid infections, including Omicron cases, the Thai government have a history of being risk-averse and adding more restrictions, not revoking them at these times.
Apart from the changes to the Thailand Pass announced on Friday, 3 more Sandbox locations were announced, allowing travellers to still travel to Thailand, but by spending 7 days in the chosen Sandbox region, producing a negative test, then able to travel to other destination in Thailand. Those locations are Phang Nga, Krabi and Koh Samui (which will also include access to Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao). Registration for the 4 Sandbox regions opens on Tuesday, January 11.
The serving of alcohol was also banned in 69 provinces from today, but left the Blue Zones – Bangkok, Chon Buri, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phang Nga and Phuket – able to serve alcohol in SHA+ approved restaurants, but only until 9pm.
So, bottomline, you can still travel to Thailand if you want or need to. But, with the Test & Go program now suspended indefinitely, you can only enter through the 4 Sandbox regions or submitting to a period of quarantine at a registered Alternative Quarantine.
This from the Tourism Authority of Thailand website…
Protocol for Test & Go travellers who have obtained their Thailand Pass QR code before 22 December, 2021, with scheduled arrival dates in Thailand from 24 December, 2021, onwards…
- They must undergo their second COVID-19 test using the RT-PCR technique (not ATK self-test) at government-designated facilities on Day 5-6 of their stay in Thailand, or when they experience respiratory symptoms (no additional cost).
- Travellers must complete the TM6 Immigration Form (while on the plane).
- Upon arrival in the airport’s terminal, travellers must complete and sign the Quarantine Form before proceeding to the Health Control screening point. Children under 12 years of age can use the same form as their parents/guardians. *Soon this step will be conducted while on the plane.
- Present the required documents, including the Thailand Pass, arrival date and RT-PCR test results to the Communicable Disease Control officers to carry out the checks. Provided that all documents are in order, the officers will then affix the Quarantine Form with the official seal of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, along with instructions on either to under a quarantine or mandatory stay, and the 2 required RT-PCR tests.
- Travellers will receive a copy of the affixed Quarantine Form, along with a QR code indicating the list of government-designated hospitals/lab centres for their second RT-PCR test (no additional cost).
- Travellers can then proceed to the Immigration. As well as going through the Immigration procedures, travellers must also present their copy of the affixed Quarantine Form and passport to the Immigration officer to carry out the checks. Provided that all are in order, travellers will then be allowed to proceed to a prearranged transfer to the reserved hotel.
- Upon arrival at the hotel, travellers must present their copy of the affixed Quarantine Form to the hotel staff to carry out the checks on the type of entry scheme permitted to the travellers. The travellers’ information will then be registered on the COSTE system. Afterwards, travellers must undergo the first RT-PCR test (except for those who have already taken the test at government-designated hospitals/lab centres prior to their arrival at the hotel.)
- If receiving a negative RT-PCR test result, travellers must inform the hotel staff of their intended accommodation on Day 5-6 to be registered on the COSTE system.
- On Day 5-6, travellers must go to their appointment at the government-designated hospitals/lab centres to undergo their second RT-PCR test, and must bring along their affixed Quarantine Form.
- Travellers give their copy of affixed Quarantine Form to the hospitals/lab centres for billing. (There will be no additional cost for travellers who have obtained their TEST & GO Thailand Pass before 22 December, 2021.)
- If testing negative for COVID-19, travellers are free to go anywhere in Thailand. However, they must undergo their second COVID-19 test using the RT-PCR technique at government-designated facilities on Day 5-6 of their stay in Thailand, or when they experience respiratory symptoms (no additional cost).
- If testing positive for COVID-19, travellers will be referred to a healthcare facility for appropriate medical treatment, for which the expenses must be covered by the required insurance, or national healthcare coverage for Thais and eligible foreign expatriates.
- All travellers must download and install the MorChana application, and set it on at all times for the COVID-19 precautionary measures and to record the result on Day 5-6 in the application.