Thailand Test & Go: On-arrival experience in Bangkok

Last Updated:

The Thailand Pass application may be a pain, but the Test & Go arrivals experience in Bangkok is refreshingly drama-free.

Thailand resumed its Test & Go programme on 1 February 2022, which allows fully vaccinated travellers from all over the world to enter without quarantine- well, for the most part at least!

For those who have booked their plane tickets, reserved their hotels and gotten their Thailand Pass approved, here’s what waits on the other end once you enter Thailand under Test & Go. 

♻️ Test & Go & Come Back & Test & Go Again
🇹🇭 Thailand Test & Go Requirements
  • Fully vaccinated with approved vaccine (age 17 and below exempt)
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. US$50K COVID-19 medical coverage (foreigners only)
  • Book AQ/SHA Extra+ hotel for Day 1
  • Book AQ/SHA Extra+ hotel for Day 5 (not required if departing on or before Day 5)
  • Apply for Thailand Pass
  • Take pre-departure PCR test 72h before flight (age 5 and below exempt) 
  • Take PCR test on arrival and approved transport to hotel; isolate until result is out
  • Take PCR test on Day 5 or 6 (not required if departing on or before Day 5); isolate until result is out
  • Download MorChana app (Android | iOS) and use it to record the results of Day 5 or 6 test

Departing from Singapore

Check-in counters at Changi Terminal 3

Upon checking in at Changi Airport (or wherever you’re originating from, really), you’ll be asked to present the following documents:

  • Vaccination certificate
    • List of accepted vaccines found here
  • Thailand Pass QR code
    • Apply here at least 7 days before departure
  • Negative pre-departure PCR test result
    • Taken within 72 hours of departure, only nasal swabs accepted (i.e. saliva PCR tests not an option)

Interestingly enough, I wasn’t asked to show my travel insurance certificate (min. US$50K coverage for COVID-19 medical expenses), nor my Day 1/5 hotel bookings with PCR tests. 

I assume the Thailand Pass is evidence of that already, since you need to submit proof of both during the application process.

Walkthrough: Thailand Pass Application (Test & Go)

That said, I’d still advise that you print and carry copies with you, since you may need to show these documents on the Thailand side. 

On a side note, I had the mother of all scares at check-in when I was told my certificate from Doctor Anywhere (done at Intemedical in Ang Mo Kio) wasn’t acceptable for travel as it lacked a doctor’s memo.

This was all the clinic sent me:

Fortunately, a supervisor called to review the situation approved me for travel, and there was no issue on arrival in Thailand. Still, I’d be quite insistent on getting a doctor’s memo going forward.

Didn’t you get the memo?

For the record, I’ve used Doctor Anywhere before and I did get a memo like the following. I have no idea why they didn’t issue me one on my latest swab.

Before boarding your flight, you’ll receive a Thailand TM6 immigration form and a quarantine form. This is fairly routine stuff, and it’ll make the arrivals process a lot smoother if you fill out both on the plane.

TM6 immigration form

For the quarantine form, be sure to tick the “Test and Go” option. By the way, the quarantine form is sometimes called the “pink slip” (because it was previously printed on pink paper). If someone asks you for this, that’s what they’re referring to!

Quarantine form

On arrival in Bangkok

Disembarking from SQ708

Once you disembark from the plane, follow the signs for arrivals. 

Heading to arrivals

Keep walking, and you’ll eventually see a long hallway filled with plastic chairs. 

Seating area

Make your way to the front and you’ll be directed to a seat. An airport staff member will ask to inspect your Thailand Pass, boarding pass, quarantine form, pre-departure test result, passport and hotel booking slip.

Pre-inspection inspection

Once they’re satisfied, you’ll head forward to another inspection counter, which scans and verifies the documents. 

Thailand Pass verification

After that, you walk through a temperature screening counter (where everyone was playing with their phones- the art of wayang is alive and well!).

Temperature screening

Then you clear immigration. If you intend to move to a different hotel after Day 1, you may be asked to show the subsequent hotel reservation.

Immigration

After immigration is baggage claim.

Baggage claim

If you need a SIM card, this is your one and only chance to buy it. Once you exit this secure area, you’re escorted straight to your vehicle. Thailand’s big 3 telcos (AIS, dtac, True) all have booths here so you won’t be short of options.

SIM cards
SIM cards

True’s booth was closed when I arrived, so here’s the options from AIS and dtac. 

AIS plans (click to enlarge)
dtac plans (click to enlarge)

You can also buy Duty Free items if you wish (sample price: Moet & Chandon 750ml champagne for 1,600 THB- champagne is notoriously overpriced in Thailand, so this was surprisingly reasonable).

Duty free

Once you exit the secure area, be prepared for a bit of a fish market. The arrival area is populated by representatives from every hotel you can think of, all calling out their respective names. 

Arrivals area
Arrivals area

Find your representative and follow him/her to your waiting transport.

Heading to transport

I was pleasantly surprised that Grand Hyatt Erawan sent a Mercedes- I was expecting a Toyota Camry, since that was the default option offered by other 5-Star hotels (unless you were willing to top up). 

Grand Hyatt Erawan car

Since the front passenger seat is sealed off, each car can take two passengers at most. If you’re travelling as a family, your hotel will arrange for a minivan.

Partition
Water and hygiene kit
Hygiene kit

Now, here’s where the process will vary depending on which hotel and package you book:

  • Some travellers will go to a hospital to do their on-arrival PCR test, before continuing to the hotel. Results from these tests are typically out faster (since there’s no need to transport the samples)
  • Other travellers will go straight to the hotel, where the test will be administered on-site

Mine was the latter. I can’t recall Bangkok traffic ever being this light, and it took just under 30 minutes to reach the Grand Hyatt Erawan.

Arrival at hotel

Once there, I was whisked off to a swabbing station set up in a villa near the swimming pool. 

Swab test
Swab test

Following the swab, I was escorted to my room to wait for the results. For obvious reasons, they don’t issue you a room key until you get a negative result.

Grand Hyatt Erawan Club Room

Now here’s what surprised me. I knew that by virtue of doing my swab at the hotel (instead of at a hospital), I was already on the “slow track”. I was told to expect results to come out in 6-8 hours, but I did my swab at 12.06 p.m and got a negative result back at 3.17 p.m.

I can’t promise that you’ll have the same experience (as it depends heavily on which provider your hotel uses, how busy they are at the time etc.), but goodness me was I stunned when I got the call early. 

A staff member came to the room to pass me a key and the results slip.

Results slip

Grand Hyatt Erawan uses BNH Hospital for its testing, and based on what I’m seeing, this results slip should be valid for travel back to Singapore because it has:

  • My full name
  • Date of birth (remember: date of birth is an acceptable substitute for passport number)
  • Date of result
  • A “Not detected” or “negative” result

MorChana registration

MorChana app

There’s one final step before you set out from the hotel: download and register on the MorChana app (Android | iOS)

On my previous trip to Koh Samui, no one really cared about MorChana. This time round, the hotel gave me a pamphlet on arrival and called my room a few hours later to remind me that I hadn’t registered, so I guess they’re taking it more seriously now.

Registration is pretty straightforward. You’ll be asked to take a selfie, scan the QR code of your Thailand Pass, and grant the app location and Bluetooth permissions. 

Once that’s done, you should see the following screen (with hopefully a better display picture).

You’re now free to explore Thailand, at least until Day 5 comes around and you need to go back into isolation following your second PCR test. 

Regarding the Day 5 test…

I’ve been asking the hotels about the Day 5 PCR test, and whether it’s true you’ll really need to confine yourself to the room after taking it.

I’m hearing two different responses:

  • Grand Hyatt Erawan told me that guests must stay in their room after taking the Day 5 test until they receive a negative result
  • Waldorf Astoria Bangkok told me that guests must stay in the hotel after taking their Day 5 test, but can use the facilities as per normal

So it seems the hotels have some leeway in the execution of this rule. I asked my friend in the Bangkok hotel industry, and he told me it was a by right by left thing. By right, guests must stay in the room. By left, some hotels will opt to give further leeway. Yet another quirk of Thai legislation I’ll never quite grasp!

Since you can take your test anytime on Day 5, the best course of action may be to do it just before you finish up for the night, so you can sleep while the results get processed, and with any luck, have them back by the time you wake up for breakfast the following morning.

Here’s more information on the Day 5 requirement.

Thailand Test & Go: Day 5 & VTL pre-departure testing options

Conclusion

I like to rate my post-COVID travel experiences on a spectrum. On the one end, you have South Korea, where the arrivals process was a 2-hour marathon, filled with queueing, endless document inspections and swabbing.

On the other, you have Germany (and basically any other country without on-arrival testing), where I basically waltzed out of the airport just like pre-COVID days.

Bangkok is somewhere in between. There are some hoops to jump through before you fly, but the process on arrival was surprisingly painless. You’re shepherded throughout the entire process, and the staff seemed well-informed about what’s required at each step.

Other Test & Go travellers- how long did you wait for your on-arrival PCR results?

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

Similar Articles

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

26 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
James Quek

For those hotels with on site testing facility, can we assume that the turnaround time of PCR results depends on the number of foreign guests arriving at the hotel? I’m hoping to get such a quick response by not opting for express test with extra cost.

Aaron, do let us know whether we need the MorChana apps to scan QR code when accessing into malls and restaurants etc. Thanks.

John Lee

Any insight on what happens if you test positive at any time? There was an article in ST from a reporter who experienced a nightmare runaround in BKK…

Milton

Hello Aaron, let’s say I’m going to travel with a friend but his already in Thailand. Is he allowed to room with me once my result comes back negative?

Alian

Stayed at Kimpton for my first night. They used a hospital to test so drove to hospital to do drive thru test before headed to hotel.

Test at 7pm results came in at 11pm so it was pretty smooth

Alian

Sukumvit Hospital.

For return back to SG we did our ART test at Phayathai 1 Hospital. Very easy and fast and convenient to GRAB to.

Josh

There’s also another great resource for finding the Test & Go packages here: https://AQ.in.th

They tend to have a more extensive list (especially when booking for family).

Jon

Hi Aaron, how many days did it take for your thailand pass to be approved?

Alex

Thx for the useful info.
What about if you are with your girlfriend, can you stay together for the T&G?
And if so, does the room rate stay the same or it goes up? The PCR test is extra of course.

Last edited 9 months ago by Alex
David

Really not worth the hassle my wife and I would love to go to Thailand but not willing to jump through hops for a holiday plenty of other countries to visit

Teo yu hui

Hello Aaron and everyone,

May I know if I am able to get 90 days entry validity if I were to present my APEC card at the immigration counter with Thailand pass please?
Thank you very much!

Roland

Hello Aaron, thanks for the detailed information you shared. We just did test&go last saturday (5.th of February) in Grand Hyatt Erawan (we did book the Premium Package with drive trough PCR on the way to the hotel and recieved results within 90 minutes) and experienced a total stressless procedure, too. Would do that in GHE again, very well organized and most helpful staff. We are now in Koh Lanta and the Hotel organized the 2nd PCR to be taken within our room, no need to drive to the Lab. Since we applied to Test&Go already in December it was… Read more »

Roland

If I knew in advance that the „normal“ package could be as fast as three hours, I had booked that as well.. by the way, the Mercedes Benz S-Type is normally only included with the premium package so you got an upgrade 😀. To be honest, the ride back to the airport with the Toyota was as smooth as with the Mercedes.. new car and very well maintained. Thanks once again for being a reliable source of valid information – just read the new article about pre-departure Swab Tests in BKK Airport. We will need one before we have our… Read more »

Tiak

Hi Aaron

If I fly to Chiangmai via Bangkok, will I be allowed to transit at Bangkok, and do on-arrival PCR when I reach Chiangmai on Day 1?

Tiak

Finally found the answer on Thai Airways website: transit to domestic destination not allowed. Day 1 must be in Bangkok.
https://www.thaiairways.com/en_SG/news/news_announcement/news_detail/tvl-advisory.page

CATHERINE OCONNOR

Which travel insurance did you purchase?

Shane

Thanks Aaron. For the pre-departure test taken within 48 hours before flying back to SG, does it have to be a certified test taken at a clinic in Thailand?

Jane

hello! can check how long did you take from the time you landed at the airport to the time you got to the hotel?

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Advertisment

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

7,110FansLike
2,641FollowersFollow

TAGS