The Government of Thailand may consider scrapping mandatory real-time polymerase chain reaction RT-PCR tests on arrival for foreign arrivals as it continues to relax visa rules in order to attract tourists.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the Public Health Ministry will propose replacing RT-PCR tests with rapid antigen tests.
He said the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration will discuss the relaxation at a meeting on Friday.
To secure a visa, visitors to Thailand need to pre-book an RT-PCR test along with a one-night hotel reservation. The rules, according to hotel operators, dampen travel to the country.
Rapid Test upon arrival
Upon approval of the proposed rules, visitors may undergo rapid antigen testing at the airport or any other designated venue on May 1, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said.
Thailand is among the first tourism-driven nations to end quarantine requirements for inoculated visitors and waived a pre-travel Covid test requirement this month, but arrival numbers have fallen short of expectations.
In an effort to stimulate the economy, the Thai Hotels Association and the Federation of Thai Industries want the government to end the so-called Test & Go visa program.
According to Mr. Thanakorn, the government’s decision to eliminate the pre-travel COVID requirement to the Suvarnabhumi airport resulted in an increase of 66% of daily foreign arrivals so far in April from a month earlier.
Inbound travel is expected to gain momentum in the coming months to aid the tourism sector’s recovery.
According to Mr. Anutin, the government may further relax Covid restrictions if the annual Songkran holiday to mark the Thai New Year does not trigger a spike in new cases.
Beginning next week, 50,000-60,000 new infections could occur each day as people travel and host family gatherings, the health ministry warned earlier this week.
As of Thursday, Thailand had 26081 new Covid infections and 91 deaths, the ministry reported.
Covid-19 and RT-PCR tests
The nose swab RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 is an accurate and reliable method for diagnosing the disease. Positive results indicate you have COVID-19. A negative test indicates that you probably did not have COVID-19 at the time of the test.
You should get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if someone you know has tested positive for COVID-19.
The best way to find a polymerase chain reaction test site in Thailand is to just Google RT- PCR Tests Near Me.