BangkokCoronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

More venues in Thailand require proof of vaccination, or ATK test, at the door

Rapid antigen tests at the entrance to Khao San Road

Thailand’s future looks… vaccinated. More and more venues and events are embracing the government’s “Covid Free Setting” guidelines which call for not only staff, but customers to be fully vaccinated, or test negative for the virus, to be considered a “Covid free” area.

Bangkok’s Khao San Road was blocked off the other weekend with bouncers checking documents and digital vaccination records while health staff wearing personal protective gear were onsite sticking swabs up unvaccinated partygoers’ noses for a rapid Covid test. (We haven’t heard what happens if someone tests positive, but an ambulance was parked at the entrance.)

Other venues, even some gyms and fitness studios in Bangkok, have started requiring proof of vaccination or an ATK at the door. Even shoppers entering CentralWorld’s Groove zone, a section of the major shopping centre in Bangkok’s Pathum Wan district with various eateries, are required to take a rapid antigen test to enter the area.

Several large festivals and events are also operating under the “Covid Free Setting” guidelines, like last weekend’s firework festival in Pattaya. According to the Pattaya News, the city mayor said those entering the concert area of the festival needed to show proof that they are fully vaccinated, or had recently tested negative for Covid-19. Vendors at the festival also needed to be vaccinated.

Other upcoming events also require proof of vaccination, or a negative Covid-19 test result, including River Kwai Bridge Week in Kanchanaburi from December 17 to 26 as well as January’s stand up show by Monty Python’s John Cleese.

To fly domestically, airlines are asking for vaccination certificates, but in some cases, will accept a PCR test taken within 72 hours before departures. Some interprovincial bus operators have also been asking for vaccination records.

When it comes to employees, many businesses, condominiums, gyms, and restaurants in Bangkok now have posters saying that 100% of the staff are vaccinated and undergo regular ATK testing. On the ride-sharing app Grab, passengers in Bangkok can request a vaccinated driver through the service JustGrab (Vaccinated.) Some cleaning services in Bangkok allow clients to request a housekeeper who is vaccinated.

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.