Thailand VTL: Test & Go scheme suspended, extra PCR test required

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Thailand has suspended new applications for its quarantine-free Test & Go scheme, and will require an extra (free) PCR test on Day 7.

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
LocationRemarksPrice
🇸🇬 Singapore72h before departure (PCR)From S$107
🇹🇭 ThailandOn arrival (PCR)Varies
(included with AQ/SHA++ hotel)
🇹🇭 ThailandDay 6 or 7 (PCR)Free
(do at government facility)
🇹🇭 Thailand2 days before departure (ART/PCR)From S$25
🇸🇬 SingaporeOn arrival at Changi (PCR)S$125
🇸🇬 SingaporeDay 2 (ART)~S$5
🇸🇬 SingaporeDay 3 (Supervised ART)S$15
🇸🇬 SingaporeDay 4 (ART)~S$5
🇸🇬 SingaporeDay 5 (ART)~S$5
🇸🇬 SingaporeDay 6 (ART)~S$5
🇸🇬 SingaporeDay 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?

Those with existing Thailand Passes will be minimally affected

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 🇹🇭
  • 21 day travel history: Singapore and eligible countries only
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. US$50K COVID-19 medical coverage (foreigners only)
  • Apply for Thailand Pass
  • Fully vaccinated with approved vaccine (age 11 and below exempt)
  • Take pre-departure PCR test 72h before flight (age 5 and below exempt)
  • Book Test & Go package at AQ/SHA Extra Plus hotel 
  • Take PCR test on arrival in Thailand and isolate until result is out
  • Take PCR test on Day 7
To Singapore 🇸🇬
  • 14 day travel history: Singapore or any Category I/ VTL country
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. S$30K coverage (short-term visitors only)
  • Apply for VTP (short-term visitors and long-term pass holders only)
  • Fully vaccinated with WHO EUL vaccine (age 12 and below exempt)
  • Complete SG Arrival Card
  • Take pre-departure ART/PCR test 2 days before flight (age 2 and below exempt)
  • Take designated VTL flight to Singapore
  • Take PCR test on arrival in Singapore (pre-booking required) and isolate until result is out (age 2 and below exempt)
  • (temporary measure) Take ART swabs at designated testing centres on Days 3 & 7 after arrival in Singapore, plus self-testing on Days 2, 4, 5 and 6 (age 2 and below exempt)

Conclusion

Phuket beach

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. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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James Quek

Any possibility of tightening the list of eligible countries under the Test & Go instead of suspension? Btw, Aaron, is your Jan’s trip affected?

Ortloc

All sales of tickets for VTLs now suspended. Goodbye VTL, we hardly knew you.

Falco

Can we use the newly required d6/7 test for PDT to return to Singapore (in my case in d7)?

Falco

So we are in Thailand now (finally got the Thai Pass ok just in time a few days ago) and were released from Test and Go by this morning. However, the new regime is not working yet. We arrived and went through the process, got our test, etc., but no one at the hospital or hotel knows anything about the second day 5/6/7 test. Apparently, according to my local friend, we were supposed to get a QR code at the airport, but didn’t get anything. A bit stumped as to what to do now.

Falco

Quick update: So I got the list of hospitals from a friend, and tried a few, but none were taking PCRs on our day 5/6, so we simply got our PDT the next day and left without any issue. The ART/ATK PDT at Suvarnabhumi is super convenient!

Eli

Hi, would like to know if I arrive in Bangkok at night (7pm) would it be considered as day 0 ?

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