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In today’s news, again, new entry requirements are criticized for being too expensive and not making much sense. Meanwhile, Pattaya walking street wants to shape itself up for the kids, and over a hundred police officers failed to catch a handful of drug suspects…for the fourth time. All this is coming up in today’s program.  You’re watching Thailand News Today, bringing you the top headlines in Thailand and beyond. And in today’s news,  Following the CCSA’s decision yesterday to resume Test & Go from February 1 (with some changes) tourism operators are urging the government to make PCR testing more […]

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New Test & Go program draws huge criticism!

Who would have thought.  Being only the 2nd 3rd 4th 5th or 6th version of their 'Welcome to Thailand' tourism package, how dare anyone complain.  Mandatory testing immediately on arrival and quarantine while waiting, hoping that no one in the family/group tests positive, otherwise more quarantine of 10-14 days in a hospital (insured if sick, but not if not sick), or in a hospitel (not covered), or in the same massively over-priced hotel (also not covered).  But wait - there is more - now you get to do that again on day 5 or 6 after travelling arounf Thailand where the daily infection rates are skyrocketing with the most infectious mutation of Covid rampant worldwide.  Plus - mandatory facemasks 24x7, unless you are in your room. 

By now even the most rabid Thai apologists are accepting that travelling to Thailand now for a short holiday is not the thing to do.  Some experts are saying Omicron will be the last serious mutation, and that we are not in the 'end game'.  We all certainly hope so - and if in 2-3 months that would be great.  When all this testing and quarantining ends, then and only then will we be travelling to Thailand for a short holiday.  Vaccinated, Insured and Tested Negative before getting on the plane - OK.  Anything else is Not OK.

4722 travelers have tested positive from 1 Jan to 19 Jan.  The risks IMO are too high, and they are getting higher.  We will wait until the numbers are down and they stop testing on arrival. 

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Can't the person who wrote this, translate names from Thai to English? I have no problem reading it, but it'd be great for everyone to be able to see the names and research about them if they want. 

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It is certainly a plus/improvement for those of us now wanting to return, who have ties to Thailand (I am married and live in Thailand on a Non-O), but clearly not so much of a benefit for the average tourist. 

If they had simply gone back to the original Test & Go program, that would have been a more universally acceptable move. Maybe that can be an immediate next step... are you listening CCSA?

Edited by Freeduhdumb
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The second test would be a problem as I stay in the North East of the country and all the test and go hotels are in Bangkok or the south of the country meaning having to pay for two flights and the over night stay, too expensive also another 2 days lost of my holiday 

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no foreigner needs a second test, thats racism,
and it is 3rd test in about 8 days because one before arrival,

no thai resident have 2/3 PCR !!! tests in about 5/8 days

 

in about 6 weeks Thailand will have100.000 infections per day without foreigners

Edited by satpete
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53 minutes ago, satpete said:

no foreigner needs a second test, thats racism,
and it is 3rd test in about 8 days because one before arrival,

no thai resident have 2/3 PCR !!! tests in about 5/8 days

in about 6 weeks Thailand will have100.000 infections per day without foreigners

It sounds like they want to make some money on tourists who get infected when already being in Thailand.

Because a positive test on the day 5 or 6 likely means that the tourists have been infected with Omicron after their flight.

They just want to have this highly profitable business of taking money from mostly asymptomatic tourists basically for nothing.

All in all, it sounds like a trap, like a government level scam.

Edited by Dmitrii
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4 hours ago, AussieBob said:

We will wait until the numbers are down and they stop testing on arrival. 

No need to hurry.

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1 hour ago, Jefflanz said:

The second test would be a problem as I stay in the North East of the country and all the test and go hotels are in Bangkok or the south of the country meaning having to pay for two flights and the over night stay, too expensive also another 2 days lost of my holiday 

I'm not trying to defend the system at all, but AFAIK although your first hotel needs to be a Bangkok test'n'go your second after 5 days can just be an SHA + or approved so aren't there any in Issan?

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1 hour ago, satpete said:

no foreigner needs a second test, thats racism,
and it is 3rd test in about 8 days because one before arrival,

no thai resident have 2/3 PCR !!! tests in about 5/8 days

in about 6 weeks Thailand will have100.000 infections per day without foreigners

It may be many things, but how can it be "racism" when the same rules apply to returning Thais?

They have to have just as many PCR tests, and they  can't even stay at home self-isolating but also have to stay in a hotel waiting for their test results!

Crazy, yes, but how can that be "racism" 😂?

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32 minutes ago, Dmitrii said:

Because a positive test on the day 5 or 6 likely means that the tourists have been infected with Omicron after their flight.

Or before the flight ... or during the flight ...

33 minutes ago, Dmitrii said:

They just want to have this highly profitable business of taking money from mostly asymptomatic tourists basically for nothing.

Profitable for who?

... and what about the "mostly asymptomatic" Thais arriving who have to do the same?

36 minutes ago, Dmitrii said:

All in all, it sounds like a trap, like a government level scam.

So if it's a "government level scam", how exactly are the government going to profit from it?

It's a seriously crazy system, but why do people here always have to say it's 'racist' or a 'scam' when the reality is it's just stupid?

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1 hour ago, satpete said:

no foreigner needs a second test, thats racism,
and it is 3rd test in about 8 days because one before arrival,

no thai resident have 2/3 PCR !!! tests in about 5/8 days

in about 6 weeks Thailand will have100.000 infections per day without foreigners

How this “new” 2nd test policy (prepaid hotel, prepaid PCR) differs so much (in terms of “potentially-ruin-your-holiday”) compared to the original T&G scheme (before 22nd December)? A T&G Pass holder, under the old rules, can just choose not to take the 2nd PCR? (which, as far as I know, it’s also mandated but free of charge and no need to book a SHA+).

If Thai govt can’t know/track if the foreigner took the PCR under the old rules, well, I assume it’s less enforced and left to people’s criteria, ultimately (so *that* would be a big difference). Though, I don’t know if those people can face a problem when leaving Thailand, if the farang has to demonstrate that he/she took the 2nd one (e.g. I don’t know what happens with that “pink slip” given when you enter there?; do you have to show that slip again when leaving? if you just admit you didn’t took that 2nd one, the customs officer will just look at you with anger, but nothing more?

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Not only is the 5th day test pointless, (you’ve already had 2 negative tests one pre flight one on arrival) most likely if you test positive on the 5th, you’ve either picked it up in Thailand or it’s a faulty test. If the arrival test is negative tourists should be treated the same as Thais, anything different is discrimination.

As someone not that good with the computer, unless I had help, it would be impossible for me to apply for entry and I have many computer savvy friends who have had a horrendous and frustrating time applying, some giving up. Why not have a telephone help line where you arrange a time and the operator books everything for you, pre paid tests, insurance, hotel etc and answers any questions you may have you then pay for the lot in one go over the phone by card. The paperwork could be emailed  or posted. I would willingly pay for this service ... just a thought.

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7 hours ago, AussieBob said:

New Test & Go program draws huge criticism!

Who would have thought.  Being only the 2nd 3rd 4th 5th or 6th version of their 'Welcome to Thailand' tourism package, how dare anyone complain.  Mandatory testing immediately on arrival and quarantine while waiting, hoping that no one in the family/group tests positive, otherwise more quarantine of 10-14 days in a hospital (insured if sick, but not if not sick), or in a hospitel (not covered), or in the same massively over-priced hotel (also not covered).  But wait - there is more - now you get to do that again on day 5 or 6 after travelling arounf Thailand where the daily infection rates are skyrocketing with the most infectious mutation of Covid rampant worldwide.  Plus - mandatory facemasks 24x7, unless you are in your room. 

By now even the most rabid Thai apologists are accepting that travelling to Thailand now for a short holiday is not the thing to do.  Some experts are saying Omicron will be the last serious mutation, and that we are not in the 'end game'.  We all certainly hope so - and if in 2-3 months that would be great.  When all this testing and quarantining ends, then and only then will we be travelling to Thailand for a short holiday.  Vaccinated, Insured and Tested Negative before getting on the plane - OK.  Anything else is Not OK.

4722 travelers have tested positive from 1 Jan to 19 Jan.  The risks IMO are too high, and they are getting higher.  We will wait until the numbers are down and they stop testing on arrival. 

The game changer is not infections - there will always be some covid variant, etc - but in how predictable things will be in any scenario. 

If medical care is available, freely chosen, everyone is required to be insured or pay a deposit for government insurance, etc. and we can all feel we know what will happen, that would fix things. 

Getting COVID would be no different than getting a flu or crashing on a moped. You get medicine or sweat it out in your hotel. You have insurance or you pay. No surprises

 

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1 hour ago, CharlesW said:

Not only is the 5th day test pointless, (you’ve already had 2 negative tests one pre flight one on arrival) most likely if you test positive on the 5th, you’ve either picked it up in Thailand or it’s a faulty test. If the arrival test is negative tourists should be treated the same as Thais, anything different is discrimination.

As someone not that good with the computer, unless I had help, it would be impossible for me to apply for entry and I have many computer savvy friends who have had a horrendous and frustrating time applying, some giving up. Why not have a telephone help line where you arrange a time and the operator books everything for you, pre paid tests, insurance, hotel etc and answers any questions you may have you then pay for the lot in one go over the phone by card. The paperwork could be emailed  or posted. I would willingly pay for this service ... just a thought.

The level of difficulty applying online is just barely more complicated than the steps it took for you to make this post. A dedicated call line with personal assistance? Come on! It isn't 1995 anymore. Make some effort to learn and keep up with technology. 

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Initially we were going to apply for "Test & Go 1.0" and were advised by the Thai Consulate to wait until after New Years to apply as our initial departure date was later in the month. I had all of the required docs, converted to .jpg and ready to go, that day they suspended "Test and Go 1.0". We then applied for the Phuket Sandbox (1 week ago or 5 working days and waiting). This is the week that "Test & Go 2.0" was announced to be "reinstated" as of Feb. 1.

A couple issues: (A) As the CCSA or other entities have not voted, a registration period has yet to be announced so we are patiently waiting to see what happens first before we cancel our existing reservations etc. to the Phuket/Sandbox. (B) In the "Test & Go 2.0 Travel Insurance Requirements" the CCSA states that they are requiring, "that in the event of a Positive Test requiring the individual to "self isolate" in their hotel room, the Travel Insurance will cover the "cost of accommodations" for the mandated time of self isolation (10 Days presently even if the party is asymptomatic).

I first called my current insurance carrier and then actually read the "Coverage Statements" of several others both domestic US and Thai insurance companies advertised on this site. None of them, currently have any verbiage related to their willingness to cover the "cost of accommodations". I then recalled two of the US domestic insurance companies and both said that the "affected individual" would have to pay "Out of Pocket" and then file a claim to be reimbursed after the fact. If and when this "cost of accommodations" clause is ever included in the "Statement of Coverage" the overall cost of the policy will undoubtedly increase. I would politely suggest to the "powers that been" reconsider this requirement and remove it from "Test & Go 2.0". Ready for a nap!

Peace Out! -Baked In Boston

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Even though I would qualify for test and Go, I only want to go to Phuket, so sandbox is less hassle. Oh and the government pays for the second test, even better.

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7 hours ago, Stonker said:

No need to hurry.

We dont go to bars, or places like 'walking street', or remote little villages - so we will probably never even see you - dont worry.  You dont play golf do you? 

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10 hours ago, Freeduhdumb said:

It is certainly a plus/improvement for those of us now wanting to return, who have ties to Thailand (I am married and live in Thailand on a Non-O), but clearly not so much of a benefit for the average tourist. 

If they had simply gone back to the original Test & Go program, that would have been a more universally acceptable move. Maybe that can be an immediate next step... are you listening CCSA?

Absolutely true - going back to live for a long stay - over 2 months - the risk is worth it. As I have said many times, in that situation do the sandbox on Phuket before going to wherever you are going to live/stay.  Seems to me that Phuket has got its act together much better than the other places, and the pricing is OK. 

I too hope the CCSA are 'listening' but I fear they get their 'advice' direct from the PM, who is mainly focussed on doing whatever is likely to make him more popular than Anutin. But Anutin keeps beating him to the punch - he called for the Test & Go to be reinstated with an extra test, several days ago.  I think Anutin has a 'spy' (or 2 or 3)  inside the PM's 'circle of influence', who has been promised a special role/s if he becomes PM after the next election.  

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7 hours ago, Stonker said:

I'm not trying to defend the system at all, but AFAIK although your first hotel needs to be a Bangkok test'n'go your second after 5 days can just be an SHA + or approved so aren't there any in Issan?

Not many - but there are some - depending on where, it is still a long drive or flight for 2nd test.

List - SHA Thailand    https://www.shathailand.com/list/

 

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7 hours ago, Stonker said:

It may be many things, but how can it be "racism" when the same rules apply to returning Thais?

They have to have just as many PCR tests, and they  can't even stay at home self-isolating but also have to stay in a hotel waiting for their test results!

Crazy, yes, but how can that be "racism" 😂?

Yes - not racism - but it is discrimination - against tourists and travellers from overseas.

To travel to Phuket means 3 tests in a week for overseas person.

But a Thai on a holiday can freely travel to Phuket with no tests. 

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7 hours ago, Mox said:

How this “new” 2nd test policy (prepaid hotel, prepaid PCR) differs so much (in terms of “potentially-ruin-your-holiday”) compared to the original T&G scheme (before 22nd December)? A T&G Pass holder, under the old rules, can just choose not to take the 2nd PCR? (which, as far as I know, it’s also mandated but free of charge and no need to book a SHA+).

If Thai govt can’t know/track if the foreigner took the PCR under the old rules, well, I assume it’s less enforced and left to people’s criteria, ultimately (so *that* would be a big difference). Though, I don’t know if those people can face a problem when leaving Thailand, if the farang has to demonstrate that he/she took the 2nd one (e.g. I don’t know what happens with that “pink slip” given when you enter there?; do you have to show that slip again when leaving? if you just admit you didn’t took that 2nd one, the customs officer will just look at you with anger, but nothing more?

Under the 'revamped' pre-approved process that allowed those already approved to arrive, the traveller had to organise their own 2nd test (for free) - which most testing places refused to provide for free. Now the hotels have to organise it, once the traveller books their 2nd stay. 

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1 hour ago, BakedinBoston said:

Initially we were going to apply for "Test & Go 1.0" and were advised by the Thai Consulate to wait until after New Years to apply as our initial departure date was later in the month. I had all of the required docs, converted to .jpg and ready to go, that day they suspended "Test and Go 1.0". We then applied for the Phuket Sandbox (1 week ago or 5 working days and waiting). This is the week that "Test & Go 2.0" was announced to be "reinstated" as of Feb. 1.

A couple issues: (A) As the CCSA or other entities have not voted, a registration period has yet to be announced so we are patiently waiting to see what happens first before we cancel our existing reservations etc. to the Phuket/Sandbox. (B) In the "Test & Go 2.0 Travel Insurance Requirements" the CCSA states that they are requiring, "that in the event of a Positive Test requiring the individual to "self isolate" in their hotel room, the Travel Insurance will cover the "cost of accommodations" for the mandated time of self isolation (10 Days presently even if the party is asymptomatic).

I first called my current insurance carrier and then actually read the "Coverage Statements" of several others both domestic US and Thai insurance companies advertised on this site. None of them, currently have any verbiage related to their willingness to cover the "cost of accommodations". I then recalled two of the US domestic insurance companies and both said that the "affected individual" would have to pay "Out of Pocket" and then file a claim to be reimbursed after the fact. If and when this "cost of accommodations" clause is ever included in the "Statement of Coverage" the overall cost of the policy will undoubtedly increase. I would politely suggest to the "powers that been" reconsider this requirement and remove it from "Test & Go 2.0". Ready for a nap!

Peace Out! -Baked In Boston

Yep - the whole program from versions 1 to 5/6 has been totally farcical.  That is why most tourist groups and agents have given up on Thailand as a destination for their customers - too unpredictable - and they have to deal with all the problems and complaints.  Wait is my advice. Or go somewhere that has kept the same rules in place  and is not likely to change them every few weeks.

 

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It's poorly conceived (4 PCR test), poorly received (tourist hate it) and likely to be poorly implemented (more tourist MIAs). So yeah, it deserves criticism. Expecting people to take 4 PCR test (this includes the 2 you need to fly in/out) while on holiday - not relaxing, and expecting then to actually show up for the 2nd TnG test... All this is going to do is create more "catch me if you can" headlines as tourist go missing under these testing regiments. Should've just brought back TnG v1 (but with requirements to surrender passport until test results confirmed), and ratchet up enforcement of masking rules. Do that for 3 or 4 months until omicron fizzles out.

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12 hours ago, Freeduhdumb said:

It is certainly a plus/improvement for those of us now wanting to return, who have ties to Thailand (I am married and live in Thailand on a Non-O), but clearly not so much of a benefit for the average tourist. 

If they had simply gone back to the original Test & Go program, that would have been a more universally acceptable move. Maybe that can be an immediate next step... are you listening CCSA?

I think you are right. I can understand why Thailand doesn’t want to drop all testing requirements as they are still trying to limit the spread of Omicron from arrivals ( contrast say UK where the country is probably more dangerous to travellers than vice versa!) I reentered under the previous  T&G scheme and found the requirements reasonable especially as the government paid for the day 5 test. Requiring arrivals to book a second night in a hotel for the day 5 test would be a real pain in comparison to the previous scheme. As you said hopefully the CCSA are monitoring reactions to the new scheme and will come up with something more workable without compromising the excellent record that Thailand already has in dealing with the pandemic.

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