Hoteliers asked to issue refunds to Test & Go travellers for Day 5 packages

Photo via Phuket International Airport - HKT (December 2021)

With the government scrapping the Day 5 requirements for Test & Go travellers, more than 2,000 hotels and their partner hospitals or test centres are being asked to refund the costs of a night stay with Covid-19 RT-PCR testing. Under the revised entry requirements, travellers can take a self-administered antigen test instead of a PCR test on the fifth day of their stay and they are no longer required to book a stay at an approved hotel while they wait for the results.

The hotels are being asked to voluntarily refund the cost of the room, or at least convert the pre-paid booking into credits. Hoteliers are also being asked to work with their partner hospitals and testing centres to refund the 2,000 baht for a PCR test.

The Thai government has said they will not require hoteliers to issue refunds for the Test & Go packages, but an official from the Tourism Authority of Thailand argues that some hoteliers have said they need a legal order from the government as their cancellation policies do not cover the refund. If a full refund isn’t possible, they will be asked to convert the payments into credits, according to TAT’s deputy governor for marketing communications, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot.

“The Tourism and Sports Ministry will issue an announcement asking cooperation from hotels to refund the fifth day expense to their guests. This rule is definitely not mandatory. Hotels are encouraged to manage those bookings according to their own cancellation policy. If refund is not possible, they should consider converting payments into credits or vouchers for in-house services or restaurants.”

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The Day 5 requirement for a hotel stay with PCR testing was put in place earlier this year due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in Thailand. But the Day 5 requirements discouraged a number of travellers from planning a trip to Thailand and were scrapped by the government. The new requirements went into effect today. Travellers must still stay at an approved hotel on their first night in Thailand while they wait for their results from an on-arrival PCR test.

“Removing the fifth day test is the decision we gathered from the private sector. It might be cumbersome for hotels during the first few weeks of March, but in the long run, the ease of travel will benefit the whole industry.”

A total of 77,851 people have registered for entry and have already paid for a hotel room and second PCR test, Siripakorn says. He added that around 20% to 30% are locals who will most likely ask for a refund for their hotel room as they have homes in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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