'Thailand Pass' set for Monday
All systems are go ahead of reopening
The government will launch the "Thailand Pass" system to fast-track procedures for foreign visitors when the country reopens on Monday.
Meanwhile, Bangkok governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang said the capital is ready to welcome back travellers from overseas as "all" of the city's residents have received their first shots of a Covid-19 vaccine and 75% have been double vaccinated.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Thailand is ready to reopen with the Thailand Pass system set to replace certificates of entry (CoE) and reduce unnecessary paperwork.
The Department of Consular Affairs worked with the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA) to develop the new web-based system for both Thai and foreign travellers to fill in their travel and health information and upload related documents before they set off.
Foreign tourists and Thais who wish to enter Thailand can register for Thailand Pass online at tp.consular.go.th from Monday. Approval should take one to three days.
Immediate approval would apply in cases where applicants' vaccine documents can be verified instantly using a provided QR code, provided the issuing country has supplied a "public key" so Thai authorities can verify the document, Mr Thanakorn said.
The Department of Disease Control will also carry out inspections according to the criteria set by the Public Health Ministry. A system has been put in place to verify Safety & Health Administration (SHA) Plus accommodation bookings and alternative quarantine (AQ) systems, the spokesman said.
Once they have received approval, travellers can download the Thailand Pass QR code to show to airline and screening officers. They will also need to present Covid-19 test results from no later than 72 hours prior to travel, Mr Thanakorn said.
Upon arrival in Thailand, they will not need to fill out TM.8 and TM.6 forms, but only download the "Mor Chana" application.
Visitors from 45 countries and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that are exempt from quarantine or Test-and-Go tourists must stay one night at an SHA Plus or AQ hotel to receive their RT-PCR test and wait for the result, the spokesman said.
Mr Thanakorn said those who travel later can update some of their information.
They will not need to submit a new application as the system will keep their information for one year since their last vaccination date.
Those who have already received a CoE can still use that document and can seek refunds directly from the hotels where they registered, the spokesman said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will chair a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to discuss preparations for the looming reopening. Asked if Bangkok could face another lockdown given another surge, Pol Gen Aswin said an assessment will be made every seven days.
He expressed confidence in the vaccination drive, adding the remaining 25% of the city's population would get their second shots in the coming days.
"Emergency response plans for Bangkok are already in place. Measures are also in place to handle visitors to important sites such as the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha Temple and Wat Pho," he said.
"Visitors must book hotels beforehand. When they check in, they will be tested for Covid-19 and spend a night waiting for results.
"If the results come back negative, they will be allowed to travel. Visitors who do not book hotels will not be allowed to enter."