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2 minutes ago, joshhb said:

If you want to see chaos, visit a UK airport immigration hall.

And here is an example at Heathrow, from 4 March 2021, when:

1  Most people in the queue would not have had a vaccine

2  The UK had a "Red List" of higher risk countries, where quarantine was required.     Despite all this, people were packed in the same immigration hall as arrivals from "Red List" countries, without any organization to ensure social distancing.

Also, most of the automatic immigration gates were not working.  Why is it that private sector factories can make camera inspection equipment for safety critical products that work 24-7 AND totally reliably, yet the useless public sector can't even operate simple electronic immigration gates ?

Incidentally, during the period of "social distancing", the worst examples of overcrowding I saw were in Heathrow Immigration and Jomtien Immigration office.    The latter is chaotic and mainly doing pointless work.

20210304_103812_HDR.jpg

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1 hour ago, joshhb said:

I arrived at a busy time at the end of March. Although the mass of desks and logos was initially confusing, all I had to do is to state by hotel name to the nearest desk staff, and I was pointed to the right desk. All in all a 5 minute process from exiting customs to being in a car.

2500B extra got me a test result in under 2 hours.

The only clunky element to the Thai Pass process was the website which would not allow .pdf file unloads.

If you want to see chaos, visit a UK airport immigration hall.

Where did you stay that you got your test results so fast (under 2 hours)?

Thanks for a hint ;).

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According to media sources, the government will propose removing the Test & Go scheme and Thailand Pass at a meeting with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on April 22. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is again requesting the cancellation with the tourism ministry, according to Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

The Thaiger reports: "If the changes and revisions are approved, the changes could start as early as May 1, allowing travellers to enter Thailand using their vaccine documents rather than waiting 1 to 5 days for the Thailand Pass to be approved."

Suvarnabhumi Airport officials report that an arriving passenger can now use the downloaded Test and GO QR code to find the booth of their booked hotel.  The airport’s general manager, said the QR code will tell travellers which desk to go to.

I recently had by Thai Pass approved with 48 hours of submission. I booked my hotel through Agoda which seems to speed up the process because the Thai Pass software can confirm Agoda bookings immediately upon submission of reservation ID number.

My confirmation from the hotel also included information on what desk number I should go to for my hotel transportation.

https://thethaiger.com/news/national/time-to-say-goodbye-to-test-go-and-the-thailand-pass

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On 4/13/2022 at 10:24 AM, Mateo_37 said:

Where did you stay that you got your test results so fast (under 2 hours)?

Thanks for a hint ;).

56 Surawong. It’s the budget sister hotel of Montien. Not bad and a great location. I was happy to pay the 2500B for the 3 hour express service which actually only took 1.75 hours 

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3 hours ago, reader said:

According to media sources, the government will propose removing the Test & Go scheme and Thailand Pass at a meeting with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on April 22. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is again requesting the cancellation with the tourism ministry, according to Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

The Thaiger reports: "If the changes and revisions are approved, the changes could start as early as May 1, allowing travellers to enter Thailand using their vaccine documents rather than waiting 1 to 5 days for the Thailand Pass to be approved."

For me, the critical thing is abolition of the covid test and therefore the risk of being incarcerated.   Which also ought to be paired with abolition of the insurance to pay for the incarceration.

Obviously it hasn't stopped me making 2 long duration trips to Thailand, but it would stop me making a shorter trip. 

After that, whether or not they abolish the Thai Pass is irrelevant, although it then serves no useful purpose, other than verifying your vaccine status before reaching the airport.   If they did keep the Thai Pass, the resulting reduction in tourist demand might keep hotel prices at bargain levels.

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Today's edition of the Thaiger carried an article reportedly about a new provision of the Thai Pass program. I recall, however, that this policy previously existed on one form or another for some time now.

From The Thaiger

New info posted on the Thailand Pass website. The change, which starts tomorrow according to the announcement, will now allow applicants to arrive on a different day to the date originally approved in their Thailand Pass application, as long as it’s no more than 7 days either side of the original date.

If you are travelling to Thailand at the moment, everyone, including Thais, need to register for a Thailand Pass, whether they are arriving under the Test & Go, Sandbox or Alternative Quarantine programs. Here’s the announcement…

“Applicants can use their approved Thailand Pass QR Code to enter Thailand on different date of arrival if the new date of arrival is within 7 days before or after the original date of arrival as indicated on the QR Code.

This starts from Monday, April 18 (tomorrow). CAAT (Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand) and the airlines have already been informed.

You do need to rebook hotels and hotel van transfer plus change the dates on your insurance. But you don’t need to upload to the TP website. Just show at check-in and on arrival to health authorities.”

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From Pattaya News

Minor International Chairman William Heinecke submitted an open letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, April 18th, urging the Thai government to cancel the ‘Thailand Pass’ entry scheme and ‘Test & Go’ program as soon as possible to help recover the country’s tourism industry.

The letter read: “Despite the cancellation of pre-arrival Covid-19 testing, the visitors to Thailand are still required to complete an unnecessary series of steps, including pre-booking RT-PCR tests, prepaid one-night hotel accommodations, mandatory health insurance, and more in order to secure a visa and/or Thailand Pass. Visitors must go through too many requirements before arriving in Thailand compared to many other countries that are now completely open, including nearby Cambodia.”

The Chairman mentioned that many countries which relied on international tourism, such as Singapore, had already revoked complicated entry measures to boost the recovery of domestic tourism and their economies. He advised the Prime Minister to scrap the country’s entry measures, including the ‘Thailand Pass’ and the ‘Test & Go’ program, stating that only a vaccination certificate and/or medical documents to prove the vaccination should be enough.

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Reading the tea leaves going into the meeting on Friday that will determine what--if any--changes are made to test-and-go, one influential member of the committee that decides its fate seemed to throw a bit of cold water on expectations that it will be scrapped altogether.

In a piece in today's Bangkok Post, Supoj Malaniyom, secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC) and head of the CCSA's operations centre, said it should be understood that those entry systems, particularly Thailand Plus tracing application, were not bad. Supoj went on to say that If not for those entry systems over the past year, he could not think what Thailand would be like now.

Nevertheless it seems that some adjustments are in the offing, given the push from the Tourism Authority and hospitality sector leaders over recent weeks.

 

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2 hours ago, reader said:

 

 Supoj went on to say that If not for those entry systems over the past year, he could not think what Thailand would be like now

 

More employment. Less ghost towns (cities). Less bankruptcies. Far, far, less poverty. Etc., etc.
The list is endless.

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Compare the death rate between Covid related deaths in Thailand and the UK. My respect remains with the Thai people who still routinely wear face masks, actually covering their faces, compared with the arrogant stupid farang walking around Pattaya with no mask or placing it under their noses.

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When in the UK last month, it was still necessary to wear masks in restaurants, certain shops and on all public transport. Having taken over a dozen trains, I noticed that more than a few passengers who had worn them on the platforms just took them off when on the train. The guards checking tickets never once asked anyone to put them on again! Concerned both about visiting children and older people in my family as much as to getting back to Thailand, I tested myself every two days - ending up with more tests than I had ever done over the last two years in Thailand.

I fully understand the disastrous situation that the tourist industry in Thailand has gone through. I also agree that loosening the restrictions on entry to the Kingdom will help it recover more quickly. In particular the Test&Go form requires too much information. It actually took me 4 attempts to complete it - the first because the photos of the required documentation I had taken on my mobile phone were too large to upload; the second because I had missed one letter out of my middle name!! Stupid mistakes and my fault, but if I found it difficult when I live in Thailand, completing such a large document can not be easy for the casual tourist.

But will that tourism recovery be like the airline industry in much of the west, I wonder? Hundreds of flights being cancelled almost daily because many in flight crews have come down with covid and horrendous queues at Immigration? Hopefully not, if only because the Thai hotel industry is far more scrupulous than its counterparts in the west in taking much more seriously the necessary safety precautions.

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3 hours ago, PeterRS said:

When in the UK last month, it was still necessary to wear masks in restaurants, certain shops and on all public transport. Having taken over a dozen trains, I noticed that more than a few passengers who had worn them on the platforms just took them off when on the train. The guards checking tickets never once asked anyone to put them on again! Concerned both about visiting children and older people in my family as much as to getting back to Thailand, I tested myself every two days - ending up with more tests than I had ever done over the last two years in Thailand.

Masks have not been required in any shops, restaurants or on public transport in England since February 24th.   Wales & Scotland have been slightly more repressive with their policies.

 

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NOTE - There are some ambiguities in the following reports. The Thai Enquirer reports that the Thai Pass will continue to be required. Also, the status of the ATK is reported differently in the Thai Enquirer version. Until this is published in the Royal Gazette, we probably won't know for sure.

From The Thaiger

Thailand ENDS Test & Go and Sandbox

Thailand plans to scrap its unpopular Test & Go entry scheme, opting instead to adopt the simplified categories of “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” for international travellers arriving in the kingdom. The actual Thailand Pass – the online pre-registration system – will remain, although the paperwork has been vastly simplified by these changes.

The CCSA announced those major changes, among others, about the county’s Thailand Pass program during its meeting today.

International travellers, who have been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, will no longer need to take a PCR test on arrival. The removal of the PCR testing for vaccinated travellers effectively abolishes the unpopular Test & Go entry scheme, which had required travellers to book an SHA+ hotel for one night of quarantine while waiting for their test results. No more Covid test, no more 1 day quarantine hotel for the vaccinated.

However, the CCSA still recommends vaccinated travellers take an ATK test on Day 5, with the expectation that they’ll self-monitor their health while in the kingdom. But this recommendation will not be enforced, according to the announcements today.

Meanwhile, insurance coverage requirements will also be reduced from US$20,000 dollar to US$10,000.

Unvaccinated travellers, who have submitted a negative PCR test within 72 hours before departure via the Thailand Pass system, will be treated the SAME as vaccinated travellers, with no PCR test on arrival OR quarantine.

However, those who do not submit a negative PCR test prior to departure will still be required to quarantine for 5 days upon arrival, with a PCR test between days 4-5. Quarantine rules for unvaccinated travellers is the same at land borders as it is for those entering via international flights.

Businesses also have plenty to celebrate. Restaurants that are SHA+ registered will be able to remain open until midnight, including businesses operating as ‘pseudo bars’. The ‘official’ requirement to stop alcohol sales by 11pm has been broadly flouted by tourists and locals alike in recent months, as nightlife owners have pushed to return to ‘normal’ operating hours and reboot their businesses.

The CCSA also discussed the re-opening of all land border checkpoints, and has reviewed the colour-coding of provinces based on their infection rates.

All this is expected to be enacted from May 1, next week. But a confirmed date has not been announced at this time. All the changes will need to be signed off and published in the Royal Gazette, expected to happen early next week.

https://thethaiger.com/news/national/breaking-thailand-ends-test-go-and-sandbox-changes-for-unvaccinated-travellers

======

From Thai Enquirer

Thailand’s Test and Go procedure will be discontinued starting on May 1, 2022. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced on Friday that RT-PCR tests for vaccinated travellers will be lifted. 

However, a five-day quarantine period is still in place for unvaccinated travellers that do not present a negative Covid-19 test result 72 hours prior to departure.

“The Test and Go procedure has been cancelled, only ATK is left to provide convenience and make things faster for travellers in order to stimulate the tourism sector,” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, who chairs the CCSA’s meeting, told reporters at government house.

“Many countries have eased their entry regulations and we are a country that fairly depends on income from the tourist sector so for the economy to carry on moving forward there is this relaxation today,” he said.

Starting May 1, vaccinated travellers will still be required to register with the Thailand Pass system to show that they are vaccinated. Officials will suggest that travellers undergo a self-administered antigen test during their stay in Thailand.

In all 77 provinces, restaurants will be able to serve alcoholic drinks until midnight. However, entertainment venues, like pubs, bars and karaoke, will continue to be closed in all provinces.

CCSA Spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said 646,812 travellers have entered Thailand between January and April 19 and most of them are not infected.

Only 0.46 per cent between April 1 and April 20, or 1,195 people out of 261,215 travellers who entered Thailand via the Test and Go procedure tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival.

https://www.thaienquirer.com/39601/thailands-test-and-go-to-be-scrapped-in-may/

=================

From Bangkok Post

The Test & Go process for foreign arrivals will be terminated at the end of the month and vaccinated travellers will require only self-antigen tests for Covid-19 from May 1, to stimulate tourism and the economy, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday.

"Tourism is recovering and antigen tests will be more convenient and faster for visitors," Gen Prayut said after chairing a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) at Government House.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin later said that from May 1 there would be no Test & Go entry scheme. The government would have different measures for vaccinated and unvaccinated foreign arrivals by air.

Vaccinated visitors would not be tested for Covid-19 upon arrival anymore. It would be recommended they self-test using antigen kits during their stay. If they tested positive, they could enter their Covid-19 insurance process or take care of their own treatment, he said.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2298846/no-covid-19-tests-on-arrival-for-vaccinated-travellers-from-may-1

 

 
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31 minutes ago, z909 said:

Masks have not been required in any shops, restaurants or on public transport in England since February 24th.   Wales & Scotland have been slightly more repressive with their policies.

Most of my time was spent in Scotland unfortunately. Scotland also required the Passenger Regulation form which was checked at BKK on the way out and after a short trip to the continent en route back to the UK. On both occasions, after relatively short arrival queues, I was sent to an automatic gate. When I asked what I did about the official form, I was basically told just to rip it up!

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Great news!

I had to laugh at the 12am closing time though, I have been to 1 bar that actually stopped serving drinks after 11.

Those land borders need to open and scrap the security theater of SHA+ scheme for nightlife to really return to normal, but Thailand Pass has always had more pressure from the tourist sector so it makes sense for it to be the first to go.

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1 hour ago, PeterRS said:

Most of my time was spent in Scotland unfortunately. Scotland also required the Passenger Regulation form which was checked at BKK on the way out and after a short trip to the continent en route back to the UK. On both occasions, after relatively short arrival queues, I was sent to an automatic gate. When I asked what I did about the official form, I was basically told just to rip it up!

When I returned to the UK in February, I filled in the passenger locator form.  I used an electronic passport gate and there was no manual check on the form.   That's exactly how it should be, since the software should check for a passenger locator form against my passport number.  Checking it manually, as they were doing the previous year would be very silly.  [Whether they check it via the software is unknown]

As for Thailand, they seem to be botching the relaxation of the travel restrictions by retaining the unfit for purpose $10k insurance.    If I buy travel insurance, I want something that covers some unexpected disaster requiring very expensive medical care, not some scam Insurance policy designed to line someone's pocket.

I did a test quote for the AXA Thailand policy, which is one of the popular solutions.   This has the 1 million baht cover, not yet updated down to $10,000 equivalent.

I purchased the AXA policy back in 2020, for 7500 baht for 3 months, which included 3.5 million baht of medical care (still low).   

Now, for 3 months, with 1 million baht of medical care, the premium is 9702 baht (below).   And most notably, IT DOES NOT INCLUDE COVER FOR HOTEL QUARANTINE COSTS AS A RESULT OF TESTING POSITIVE.

So if you need quarantine, it probably doesn't pay out !!!

If you are genuinely ill, the cap is 1 million baht, probably reducing to half that once they adjust for the new $10k limit. This seems quite low if you happen to be properly ill and need a few weeks of intensive care.  

The insurance looks like nothing more than a useless SCAM.

 

Of course, in 2022, I would expect most international travel insurance policies to offer cover for genuine covid treatment, but the question is whether or not they satisfy the requirements for the Thai Pass.

AXA.JPG

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 P is expected to be here in London with me during May. He's fully vaccinated, including a booster, and has certification. I assume he'll be required to fill in a Thai Pass  for his return home as things stand. Will he have to do this before he leaves, in Thailand, or from here during his stay?

 

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34 minutes ago, New Londoner said:

 P is expected to be here in London with me during May. He's fully vaccinated, including a booster, and has certification. I assume he'll be required to fill in a Thai Pass  for his return home as things stand. Will he have to do this before he leaves, in Thailand, or from here during his stay?

 

I believe he can do it anytime as long as its 7 days prior to departure to ensure he gets the approval on time? Thats what i understand if everything stays the same

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From the Tourism Authority of Thailand

Bangkok, 22 April, 2022 – Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today approved the lifting of the RT-PCR testing requirement for international arrivals beginning 1 May, 2022, and introduced two new entry schemes specifically customised for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

TAT Newsroom will be providing updates in detail via www.tatnews.org once the official directives have been announced in the Royal Thai Government Gazette.

New entry rules for vaccinated travellers:

International travellers who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to show proof of a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR test nor undergo an arrival test.

They are still required to register for a Thailand Pass (via https://tp.consular.go.th/) with a Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination and an insurance policy with coverage no less than US$10,000 (reduced from US$20,000).

Once arriving in Thailand, they will be allowed entry and are free to go anywhere  in the kingdom.

While in Thailand, both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers are advised to strictly follow health and safety standards. Travellers who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms should get tested. If testing positive, they must get the appropriate medical treatment.

Kindly note the information is to serve as reference only. It is especially important to check in regularly on www.tatnews.org to stay current on what remains a very fluid and fast changing situation.

https://www.tatnews.org/2022/04/thailand-lifts-rt-pcr-testing-requirement-for-international-arrivals-from-1-may-2022/

===============

From The Thai Pass website

Registration on Thailand Pass for travelers entering Thailand from 1 May 2022 under new entry measures will be opened from 29 April 2022 onwards (00.01 hrs Thailand time).
 

From 1 May 2022, travelers entering Thailand by air will be subject to new entry measures, as follows;
 

1. Fully Vaccinated Persons must :

- Register on Thailand Pass

- Attach required documents including passport, certificate of vaccination

- Attach proof of insurance with at least 10,000 USD coverage for medical treatments in Thailand (for non-Thais only)

(COVID-19 test, both prior to and after arriving in Thailand, is no longer required)

 

 

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1 hour ago, New Londoner said:

 P is expected to be here in London with me during May. He's fully vaccinated, including a booster, and has certification. I assume he'll be required to fill in a Thai Pass  for his return home as things stand. Will he have to do this before he leaves, in Thailand, or from here during his stay?

I would be surprised if the Thai Pass actually checks your location when you are filling in the form.   Although, I don't rule out them including irrelevant features.

Also, if you're comfortable sharing such information, opening a new thread on the topic of friends obtaining visas to visit the UK would be interesting.    Just in case anyone else ever needs it.

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As Thailand was announcing this half-measure of a relaxation, Singapore announced complete removal of all pre-departure testing for vaccinated travellers. On-arrival testing had been removed some weeks earlier. Now, only an online health declaration needs to be conpleted -- the online version of the pre-Covid arrival card, I guess with a few more Covid-related questions, perhaps. 

Thailand needs to scrap its insurance requirement and its Thai Pass system, which by all accounts, is slow and inefficient.

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1 hour ago, z909 said:

Also, if you're comfortable sharing such information, opening a new thread on the topic of friends obtaining visas to visit the UK would be interesting.    Just in case anyone else ever needs it.

No problem, but I'll wait until he actually receives the visa. Apparently, there's a backlog in Kolkota owing to Covid. Yes, that's where Thai/UK visas are handled.

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