CCSA to discuss Songkran, scrapping on-arrival PCR tests for travellers TODAY
Thailand’s government will meet again today to discuss how to contain the spread of Covid-19 during next week’s Songkran festival, its vaccination rollout for the elderly and whether or not to scrap the on-arrival PCR tests for foreign travelers. Thailand hoteliers and others travel industry professionals have been lobbying for a full removal of PCR testing to attract more tourists, as neighboring nations transition to living-with-Covid strategies.
During today’s meeting, the Department of Disease Control will submit a proposal to scrap the mandatory PCR tests for international travelers. The CCSA said the new rule would come into effect after next week’s Songkran festival, but the shift to antigen tests may take effect next month, the Bangkok Post reported. Meanwhile, the current colour-coded zoning method for coronavirus outbreaks is expected to remain in place. On Thursday, deputy prime minister and public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul, said that if the CCSA approves the proposal to axe the on-arrival PCR test, “foreign travellers would only need to take antigen tests upon arrival.”
Thailand has been easing its entry requirements in a bid to attract more international travellers and revive a depressed tourism industry after two years of pandemic. On April 1, the country scrapped its pre-arrival PCR tests required under its Test & Go, Sandbox and quarantine programmes. But travellers will still probably have to take the test anyway just to get on the the plane or to catch a connecting flight to an airport that requires it. The government also claims to have reduced the PCR test result times to within 4 hours, but that does not eliminate the requirement of booking an SHA Extra+ hotel when applying for Thailand Pass.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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