Test & Go 'can be a hassle'

Test & Go 'can be a hassle'

After the government resumed its Test & Go scheme on Feb 1 and tourists from around the world have been entering Thailand, Bangkok Post sought their opinion on the scheme and found that many hope for more flexibility in the rules moving forward.

Under the scheme, vaccinated foreign nationals from any nation can enter the kingdom without quarantine. To do so, they need to have health insurance and show proof of a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours before their departure time and pass two RT-PCR tests while in Thailand -- the first upon arrival and the second on the fifth day of their visit -- at an SHA+ hotel.

Jennifer Gary, a United States national in her 50s, said the scheme can deter many tourists from visiting.

The rules also add costs to tourists who need to book an SHA+ hotel for the RT-PCR tests, she said, noting she already had a negative RT-PCR test before flying to Thailand.

"Only those who really want to visit Thailand will come," she said. "For me, it is the best time because I have a great time here."

David Tibble, a 41-year-old from Britain, said he heard visitors who tested positive after arriving in Thailand had to pay for expensive treatments.

Luckily for him, his RT-PCR test result was negative, he said.

Netra Rahman, a 32-year-old from Indonesia, said she follows the rules while staying in the country.

"You need to wear masks all the time when you are in public. It is mandatory," she said, adding she has not encountered problems travelling around the country.

Sofia Soprano, 38, from the Netherlands, said she expects to see more tourists if a quarantine-free policy is applied without complicated regulations.

"This is my first trip to Thailand, and I'm looking forward to flying to Phuket and Chiang Mai during my 14-day trip," she said. "There are numerous activities for foreigners such as myself to enjoy."

Sam Mitra, 40, from India said he travelled to Thailand during this time for a business trip in Chiang Mai.

He said he was confused about the health insurance requirement. He said he thought there would be a change in the insurance policy as the government may require tourists to purchase local insurance packages for those showing mild Covid-19 symptoms.

Sacha Corbin, 43, from France, said he learned from the media about difficulties in entering the kingdom, specifically hotel booking issues and the RT-PCR tests. He said he thought Thailand may not be worth visiting but decided to travel regardless.

"I came to Thailand and will stay for a brief vacation before going to other countries in Asia," he said. "So far, I haven't had any problems."

Caryl Aquino, 34, from the Philippines, said she would spend a month-long vacation in Thailand, and expects to work in the country for years.

"I'm concerned about the Omicron variant but [infections] happen everywhere, so I have to follow the rules to stay safe while travelling," she said.

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