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Thailand relaunches Test & Go scheme

Quarantine-free holidays in Thailand could be on the cards again.

Thailand’s Test & Go programme is to relaunch next month, according to government officials.

The Test & Go programme, originally set-up last year to kick-start the tourism industry, was suspended in December due to rising omicron cases. The relaunch has been agreed by the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), although it has yet to be officially announced in the Royal Gazette.

If made official, the relaunch of Test & Go will mean holidaymakers can register for the scheme from February 1, although there have been revisions to the rules.

Travellers must now have booking proof of an approved hotel for both the first and the fifth day of their stay as they will need to undergo PCR tests on both day one and day five. Previously arrivals had to test on arrival only and isolate in their approved accommodation until a negative result was returned.

Further changes mean the Test & Go programme will be open to travellers from all countries this time, as long as they are fully vaccinated. Travellers must apply for a Thailand Pass QR code from the Thailand Pass Website to enter the country and take a PCR test on arrival. A second night at a government approved hotel must be booked for day five, although it doesn’t have to be the same hotel as day one and travellers are permitted to travel throughout Thailand between days one and day five.

Infections in Thailand spiked over the festive season and entry measures were tightened accordingly. However, a government spokesperson said the decision to reopen Test & Go has been a careful consideration following a decline in the number of Covid deaths and stabilising infections.

The CCSA has also added more destinations to the Sandbox programme, a scheme that allows vaccinated holidaymakers to avoid quarantine if they enter Thailand in specified areas - such as Phuket or Koh Samui - and remain there for seven days. Destinations to be added include Koh Chang, Koh Sichang, Na Chom Tian and Bang Sare.

Further relaxations mean restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol until 11pm, rather than 9pm.

And Bangkok Airways has announced that it will begin flying two daily sealed-route services between Bangkok and Phuket.

Test & Go - what you’ll need

* Proof of an approved (SHA+) hotel booking for days one and five.

* Proof of payment for two PCR tests.

* Vaccination certificate or vaccination passport.

* Negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.

* Thailand Pass QR code.

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