Thailand just resumed its quarantine waiver for vaccinated arrivals
Good news for those looking to visit Thailand: The country has restarted its Test and Go program after putting it on pause since December.
Prior to Feb. 1, travelers visiting the country were subject to a mandatory period of quarantine for a minimum of seven days whether they were vaccinated or not.
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Under the revamped Test and Go guidelines, from Feb. 1, travelers will have to take a PCR test on arrival and then test again five days later. Travelers will then have to isolate themselves in an approved hotel for at least one day following the first test while awaiting their results, and then once again for the fifth test.
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You will be able to travel freely between the two test days provided you download a tracking app that gives Thai authorities permission to trace your movements while in the country, according to The Thaiger. You are also able to stay at different hotel locations for the first- and fifth-day tests.
This will be a slight revision to the previous Test and Go rules where travelers in the program only had to take one PCR test on arrival. Additionally, visitors to Thailand will also require proof of their hotel bookings for the first and fifth days when testing is required.
What are the requirements for Test and Go?
Visitors to Thailand will need the following, The Thaiger reported:
- Proof of hotel booking for the first and fifth days in Thailand.
- Confirmed payment or proof of booking for a SHA+ approved hotel.
- Prepayment for the two RT-PCR tests.
- Certificate of vaccination or vaccine passport.
- Proof of a negative result from an RT-PCR test issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
- Thailand Pass QR code. (Click here for the official website run by the Department of Consular Affairs. The Thailand Pass is free, so watch out for other sites seeking payment.)
The update will be welcomed by travelers after seeing an earlier glimpse of travel hope back in early November of 2021. During this period Thailand permitted vaccinated travelers from 61 countries to enter its borders without quarantining, only to suspend the scheme on Dec. 20 following the first confirmed omicron infection.
Related: Traveling to Thailand is about to get easier again
Related: 10 gorgeous Thai islands that aren’t Phuket
The mandatory quarantine was another hammer blow for the Thai tourism sector.
Before the pandemic, in 2019, leisure and hospitality contributed 21.9% to the country's economy, with a record 40 million visitors flocking to its golden beaches and historic cities. Since the onset of the pandemic, however, visitor numbers have since dropped by a staggering 99.5%.
Plans are also now afoot to expand the other type of Thai quarantine waiver, the Sandbox, whereby vaccinated tourists agree to stay in one location for a week. Currently operating on the western coastline in Koh Samui and Phuket, it may be extended up the eastern reaches as well, including popular beach destinations Pattaya and Koh Chang.
Related: How to get approved for Thailand's digital travel pass
Before you get too excited about the prospect of full moon parties, it's worth noting that it's still not quite business as usual in the country. While the government has just extended the hours to which restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol (11 p.m.), bars and nightclubs will still remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Featured poto by Matteo Colombo/Getty Images.