Thailand is dropping its pre-arrival RT-PCR test requirements and making travel easier for those who want to visit the country, known for its tropical beaches, delectable cuisine, and shopping destinations. Here’s what we know so far. By Anushka Goel
As the world grapples with the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Thailand is waiving off its mandatory pre-arrival negative COVID-19 test requirement from April 1, 2022. The news comes at a time when the world is slowly reopening for international travellers and countries are relaxing its travel norms for vaccinated (and in some cases, even unvaccinated) tourists.
Thailand to drop mandatory RT-PCR requirement for those looking to travel here
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According to Bangkok Post, Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for the Public Health Ministry, said that the ministry, in a meeting of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday, March 18, will propose the easing of some pre-travel requirements.
However, while the move is to scrap the mandatory negative RT-PCR test to be taken within 72 hours of travel to Thailand, the other two tests – an RT-PCR test conducted on arrival and a self-administered rapid antigen test on day five – will not be scrapped. Further, Thai tourism is also seeking to lower the minimum medical insurance that international travellers must possess to enter the country from USD 50,000 (INR 37,92,075) to USD 10,000 (INR 7,58,415) form May.
Kiattiphum added, “We will propose further easing of travel requirements this Friday as the COVID-19 situation is moving in line with our assumption, which predicts new cases to start slowing down from mid-March,” reports Bloomberg.
Thailand currently has the Test & Go quarantine waiver in place, and is easing more and more restrictions in a step-by-step format to make travelling to the country and experiencing its beaches, islands, cuisine and more accessible to international tourists. The country, which relies heavily on tourism for its economy, has been hard hit by the pandemic, and is looking to recover from this blow in a phased manner.