Test & Go visitors must make two hotel reservations

Test & Go visitors must make two hotel reservations

Mandatory Covid-19 tests at 5-day intervals

Tourists check in for departure at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province on Monday, the day before the Test & Go entry program resumes. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Visitors arriving by air as part of the Test & Go scheme, which resumes on Tuesday, will have to book hotel accommodation twice for two mandatory Covid-19 tests and comply with disease controls, or face legal action , a government spokesman said Monday.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesperson for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said the revised Test & Go program now required two Covid-19 tests for each visitor, the first on arrival and the second on day 5 of their visit. .

Visitors will be required to show proof of reservations for the two nights at one of the designated hotels contracted to provide testing services with partner hospitals, he said.

“If they are negative on the first test, they can travel freely until the second test,” Dr Taweesilp said.

The revised and reopened Test & Go will be available to visitors from all countries, he said.

If their Covid-19 insurance coverage was limited, infected visitors would still have to bear all costs themselves for their uninsured treatment in hospitals or quarantine hotels, and for disease control responses for contacts at high risk, he said.

Registration for Test & Go entry was suspended late last month due to the release of the Omicron variant. Until then, it was the most popular way to enter Thailand, with only one night in quarantine while waiting for a test result.

From January 1 to 30, 185,037 visitors arrived in the country by air. Russians were the largest group at 19,450, followed by 11,469 Germans, 10,458 Americans and 10,091 Britons, the spokesman said.

This month, Dr Taweesilp said, 22 Test & Go visitors breached disease checks and most could not be located when their Covid-19 tests came back positive.

“Please stay overnight at your hotel and wait for your test results. If there are many tests at the same time, it may take 3-6 hours for the result to come back,” he said.

Violators were liable to a fine of up to 20,000 baht depending on the frequency of the challenge. Penalties were much harsher in some other countries, which imposed massive fines and even jail time, he said.

In Canada, visitors who fail to submit to the mandatory tests could be fined up to 750,000 Canadian dollars (about 19.6 million baht), according to Dr Taweesilp, who cited the Thai Foreign Ministry. Hong Kong had provided for fines and jail terms of up to six months for disease control violations, he said.

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