Due to the Omicron situation, Thailand has decided to temporarily suspend its Test & Go scheme and reinstate its mandatory COVID-19 quarantine for foreign visitors.
There’s some good news, however, for those already holding approved Thailand Passes. You can still enter Thailand under the scheme you have registered, which means that someone with a Test & Go Thailand Pass can enter as planned, without the need to quarantine.
The main change in this case is an additional PCR test on day 6 or 7, paid for by the Thai government.
Despite the latest developments, the VTL arrangement for quarantine-free travel from Thailand to Singapore will also continue until further notice.
Test & Go scheme suspended
For context, travellers are currently required to apply for a Thailand Pass prior to travelling to Thailand, whether they’re entering under the Test & Go, Sandbox, or Alternative Quarantine programmes.
|Apply for Thailand Pass|
|Thailand Pass FAQs|
From 22 December 2021 until further notice, Thailand Pass applications will be closed to all new Test & Go and Sandbox visitors (except the Phuket Sandbox). If you applied before the 22 December 2021 cutoff and haven’t heard back yet, there’s still a chance you might receive approval in the next few days, so continue to monitor your inbox.
Visitors who hold an existing approved Thailand Pass will still be able to visit Thailand as planned, under the terms of their original arrangement. The main difference is the need to take an additional (free of charge) PCR test on Day 6 or 7 (the day of entry is Day 1).
In other words, travellers who enter Thailand under Test & Go during this period can expect to do two PCR tests (in addition to the pre-departure PCR test):
- On arrival (paid; part of the Test & Go package you’d have booked with the hotel)
- On Day 6 or 7 (free; done at a government-approved facility– for arrivals from 24 December 2021 onwards)
So in other words, the revised testing regime for a traveller from Singapore would look something like this:
|⚕️ VTL Testing Regime|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||72h before departure (PCR)||From S$107|
|🇹🇭 Thailand||On arrival (PCR)||Varies|
(included with AQ/SHA++ hotel)
|🇹🇭 Thailand||Day 6 or 7 (PCR)||Free|
(do at government facility)
|🇹🇭 Thailand||2 days before departure (ART/PCR)||From S$25|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||On arrival at Changi (PCR)||S$125|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 2 (ART)||~S$5|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 3 (Supervised ART)||S$15|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 4 (ART)||~S$5|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 5 (ART)||~S$5|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 6 (ART)||~S$5|
|🇸🇬 Singapore||Day 7 (Supervised ART)||S$15|
|Children aged 2 and below are exempt from testing, except for the on-arrival test in Thailand|
What if I’m travelling to Thailand in the next few days?
As mentioned, those with existing approved Thailand Passes can continue to enter under the original terms, so your plans are safe.
If your travel plans are changing, do note that flight changes are permitted within 72 hours of the original flight time registered in the Thailand Pass, without the need to apply for a new Thailand Pass QR code. However, you won’t be able to change your hotel reservation without applying for a new Thailand Pass, so consider that part of your journey locked in.
The new Day 7 test requirement has now been signed into law, and takes effect from 24 December 2021. In case you get confused by some sources saying that you need to do the test on Day 5 or 6, remember that refers to the number of days after arrival, so it’s really Day 6 or Day 7.
VTL flights from Bangkok to Singapore continue as planned, with the eligibility and procedures unchanged.
Alternative: Phuket Sandbox
Travellers who really need their Thailand fix can continue to enter under the Phuket Sandbox scheme.
|❓ The Phuket Sandbox is part of the Blue Zone Sandbox scheme; but as mentioned all Sandboxes except Phuket will be closed to new applications from 22 December 2021.|
This is open to fully vaccinated tourists, who must satisfy the following conditions:
- Apply for a Thailand Pass
- Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure
- Purchase travel insurance with minimum US$50,000 coverage for COVID-19 medical expenses
- Book a 7+-day stay at an approved SHA Extra Plus hotel
On arrival in Phuket, travellers will proceed to the prearranged accommodation or medical facility to undergo an on-arrival PCR test. After that they will isolate in their hotel rooms while waiting for the results.
- If the test is negative, they may travel anywhere within the Phuket Sandbox. They will also receive an ATK for a self-antigen test on Day 5-6
- If the test is positive, they will be referred to a healthcare facility for medical treatment
Travellers can proceed to other destinations in Thailand after staying seven nights in the Phuket sandbox. If their trip to Phuket is shorter than seven nights, they must leave Thailand to another country immediately.
The main issue here is that there are no VTL flights from Phuket to Singapore. If you want to avoid an SHN on return to Singapore, you’ll need to fly home from Bangkok, which means you’re effectively committing to at least a seven-day stay in Phuket.
Recap: Thailand VTL
Here’s a summary of the requirements to travel to Thailand from Singapore, and return on the VTL.
|✈️ Summary: Thailand VTL|
|To Thailand 🇹🇭|
|To Singapore 🇸🇬|
Thailand will be suspending the Test & Go scheme and closing all Sandboxes except for Phuket. However, travellers with existing approved Thailand Passes will still be able to enter under the original arrangement. They will need to do an additional PCR test on Day 6 or 7, but it’s paid for by the government anyway.
In that sense, this isn’t so much about closing the borders as it is restricting the number of people who can enter.