Thailand Test & Go: Pre-departure PCR test removed from 1 April

Thailand will eliminate pre-departure testing for all travellers from 1 April, although on-arrival testing and isolation remains.

Earlier this week I wrote about Thailand’s roadmap for living with COVID, which called for the scrapping of on-arrival PCR tests by May, and the eventual elimination of all testing and the need to apply for a Thailand Pass.

But surprisingly, it’s the pre-departure test that’s the first to get cut. Today comes the news that from 1 April 2022, travellers entering Thailand under the Test & Go scheme (or any scheme for that matter) will no longer need to take a pre-departure PCR test. 

Travellers from Singapore stand to save around S$100 per person, which coupled with Singapore’s simplified VTL testing regime, means weekend trips to Thailand are inching back to reality again.

Thailand scraps pre-departure PCR tests

Pre-departure tests are no longer required for travel to Thailand

Test & Go travellers to Thailand are currently required to take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure to Thailand.

From 1 April 2022, this will no longer be required. However, the on-arrival PCR test and Day 5 self-administered ART (referred to as an ATK in Thailand) remain. 

 Till 31 March 2022From 1 April 2022
Pre-departure (within 72h)PCRNone
On-arrivalPCR
(isolate until negative result received)

Day 5*Self-ART
*Not required if departing Thailand on or before Day 5

It’s curious that Thailand has chosen to remove the pre-departure PCR test, as opposed to the on-arrival one. After all, unless you live in a city where pre-departure testing is not readily available, it’s the on-arrival test that’s the bigger pain point.

It typically takes at least 6-8 hours for on-arrival test results to come back, and if you’re unlucky enough to arrive during a particularly busy period, it could even be up to a full day. That’s precious vacation time you need to burn cooped up in your hotel room.

But more importantly, testing positive on arrival in Thailand can basically ruin your trip. COVID-positive visitors will be required to stay in hospitals or hospitels (not a typo- it’s a combination of “hospital” and “hotel”) at their own expense, even if asymptomatic. 

Therefore, I’d highly advise you to take a self-administered ART before flying, even though there’s no requirement to do so. Trust me, ignorance is not bliss in this case.

Other requirements like the need to apply for a Thailand Pass and purchase travel insurance with at least US$20,000 coverage for COVID-19 medical expenses still remain.

Thailand Pass

One hopes the much-maligned Thailand Pass is indeed living on borrowed time. The system has been beset with phishing scams and security leaks from day one, plus a finnicky interface that requires you to convert all PDFs into image files (with no “save and resume later” function!).

In any case, I’ve written a walkthrough of the Thailand Pass application process below.

Walkthrough: Thailand Pass Application (Test & Go)

Here’s a summary of the revised requirements for Test & Go scheme, which take effect from 1 April 2022. 

🇹🇭 Thailand Test & Go Requirements
  • Fully vaccinated with approved vaccine (age 17 and below exempt)
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. US$20K COVID-19 medical coverage (foreigners only)
  • Book AQ/SHA Extra+ hotel for Day 1
  • Apply for Thailand Pass
  • Take pre-departure PCR test 72h before flight with negative result (age 5 and below exempt) 
  • Take PCR test on arrival and approved transport to hotel; isolate until result is out
  • Take self-administered ART on Day 5
  • Download MorChana app (Android | iOS) and use it to record the results of Day 5 ART

Is the scrapping of on-arrival tests next?

Graphic: Bangkok Post

Thailand’s roadmap for living with COVID calls for the following changes to the testing and quarantine regime for visitors:

 VaccinatedUnvaccinated
Phase 1 (March 12 to early April)PCR on arrival
ART on Day 5
10-day quarantine
Phase 2 (April to May)ART on arrival
ART on Day 5
5-day quarantine
Phase 3 (end May to June)NoneART on arrival
Phase 4 (from 1 July)NoneNone

It’s hoped that the next phase will see the on-arrival PCR test replaced with an ART instead, which would effectively end the isolation requirement. 

By June, all testing for vaccinated individuals should be gone, although this depends on how the COVID situation evolves, as well as hitting certain milestones such as booster jab uptake, positive testing rate on arrival, and death rate.

Singapore-Thailand travel: Total testing costs

⚕️ Testing: Singapore-Thailand Travel
LocationRemarksPrice
🇹🇭 Thailand
On-arrival
(PCR)
~2,200 THB
(~S$90)^
🇹🇭 ThailandDay 5
(self-ART)
Free
(kit from Test & Go hotel)
🇹🇭 Thailand2 days before departure (ART/PCR)~550 THB
(~S$22)
🇸🇬 SingaporeWithin 24h of arrival (self-ART)~S$5*
^Usually included in Test & Go hotel package and not paid separately
*Children aged 2 and under exempt

Round-trip travellers from Singapore to Thailand can expect to do a total of four COVID-19 tests, although two of them will be self-administered ARTs. 

The total cost of testing will therefore be ~S$110 per person, although this should decrease even further in the near future as on-arrival PCR testing gets replaced by ARTs.

If you’re looking for a place to get your pre-departure test done before returning to Singapore, here’s some information on the testing process at Bangkok Airport. 

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

Bangkok Trip Report

♻️ Test & Go & Come Back & Test & Go Again

I recently travelled to Bangkok to check out the Test & Go process, and although there’s a lot of hassle in the pre-departure phase (especially with the Thailand Pass application), once you reach Bangkok things move surprisingly smooth.

Do note my trip took place when the Day 5 PCR test requirement was still in force- this has since been scaled back to a self-administered ART. That said, the rest of the information is current, including the on-arrival process and pre-departure testing options when returning to Singapore. 

Conclusion

Thailand will be scrapping its pre-departure PCR test requirement from 1 April 2022, which will save Singapore residents about S$100 or so. However, I’d still advise you to do a self-administered ART before flying, as testing positive on arrival won’t be fun, to say the least.

Hopefully, the May target for replacing the on-arrival PCR test with an ART will be met too, removing any sort of downtime from your vacation. 

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
Eric

No thanks. I will rather go a place without any test. Wasting time

Kelvin

No money just say no money

Harry

Places without test, i.e. Europe are more expensive than Thailand

Sean

Scraps PDT, keeps on-arrival – If tourist is tested C+, boost medical and tourism, tourist might choose to stay longer after they have recovered.

chk

Short trips to Thailand are becoming possible again 🙂

Shirl

Great development! Btw is the Sandbox program a moot point now?

Matthew

Their road map states April to May replace with on arrival ART, is it likely this change will happen in April or May?

Dave

I noticed the insurance minimum to be down to $20k (from $50k), yet the Axa Sawasdee insurance has tripled in price for a 1-week trip (~1400 THB now).

Any concerns in going with the local Aviva package here after these changes?

Last edited 4 months ago by Dave
James Quek

Thailand’s plan to attract tourists would be more “successful” if they were to replace D1’s PCR Test with ART straight away on top of scrapping the PDT. Hopefully, this will materialize after mid Apr 2022.

Low Seow Boon

Actually, I am more concern what happened when you got COVID in Thailand. The price will be high and is there any insurance to cover that. My friend on business trip got Covid and got hell..there..

Kell

Has anyone had the experience of testing positive after arriving in Phuket? What happens?

Alex

Has anyone had the experience of testing positive after arriving in Krabi? What happens?

Mich

Hi!
My flight is booked in Mid April and understand the Thai Govt has dropped the Pre-Departure Test before flying to Thailand.

However, will Singapore Airlines require a Pre-Departure Test in order to board the plane from Changi? Is there any Airline regulation / requirement?

There seems to be mixed opinions online.
Appreciate any helpful response!

Thank you

Acewave

Hi, just a quick check, since Thailand scrap the request of pre-departure PCR test to Thailand start 01-Apr, so will there be pre-departure PCR test require by respective Airline (eg. SIA, Singapore Airlines), as try to contact them but their line is really hotline.
Anyone can advice here?

Deborah

Good evening
First of all, I would like to thank you for this useful website i recommend to all my Friends. Make travels plans so much easy 🙂
I would like to know : does recovery memo helpful fo traveling to Thailand ? I’m a little be concerned as if I already have covid i may be still positive to PCR when I will travel. i don’t know where to find this info (also for Vietnam). Maybe you have this information.
Thank you 🙂

Alex

Does Thailand still require you to do the on-arrival PCR test if you have a certificate of recovery (less than 90 days but at least 14 days)?

Alex

Yes. PCR Test still required, but you can show the certificate of recovery, they would not require quarantine in case the test comes back positive.

Milton

Hello, I would like to check, I’ve read in several sites that although pre-departure RT-PCR is no longer needed, the immigration may ask for the PCR results. Is that true? I mean won’t that defeat the purpose of removing the pre-departure test?

Jo o

Hi does this information still hold? I saw conflicting information on the Thai embassy webpage still listing pre-departure PCR as a requisite

Wes

If you’re departing on Day5 is it still required to do the self-administered ART test? Does the test require supervision such as the use of the Speed Doc App?

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Advertisment

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

7,110FansLike
2,641FollowersFollow

RECENT COMMENTS

TAGS