Hoteliers and business owners on the southern island of Koh Samui are asking the Thai government to lower the costs of RT-PCR tests in an effort to draw in more foreign tourists. The calls follow the decision to reopen registration for the Test & Go entry scheme starting February 1. The quarantine exemption scheme requires tourists to isolate themselves at an approved hotel or resort while they wait for the results from their on-arrival RT-PCR Test before travelling throughout the country. Under the revised rules, travellers will now need to book a night at an approved hotel on Day 5 and take a second RT-PCR test.
Travellers need to pay for the costs of their RT-PCR tests which can cost around 2,000 baht to more than 4,000 baht. At Bangkok Hospital, prices range from 4,000 to 4,300 for “screening of Covid-19 using RT-PCR test through nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs with medical certificate.” At Samui Home Clinic on the island, an RT-PCR test with a medical certificate costs 2,990 baht.
The director of Koh Samui Hospital, Richapha Sawadikanon, says the hospital charges 2,200 baht per test, which he says is the standard price for a PCR test and is not two expensive for tourists. One hotel owner on Koh Samui says that is still too much for travellers as the costs add up to 4,400 baht for Test & Go travellers. He says that, altogether, travellers should pay 2,200 baht for a package of two tests, not 4,400 baht (around $US130).
Other businesses on Koh Samui have also spoken up, saying that the government should lower the price of the test to draw in more travellers and revive the tourism-dependant economy.
If you are fully vaccinated and looking to travel to Thailand, you may enter by a 1 Day Test & Go or 5 Day Test & Go packages.
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