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Tourism Ministry wants PCR tests for tourists scrapped from May 1


The Tourism and Sports Ministry will ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to cancel mandatory PCR testing for foreign tourists and replace them with ATK tests from May.

Under the move, tourists would no longer face the expense of a PCR test and mandatory first night’s stay in an SHA+ hotel.

“We expect the move to be approved and implemented from May 1 onward, provided that there is no surge in new infections and Covid-19 deaths during and after Songkran,”

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said.

He added that the “acceptable” limit is 60,000 daily infections – including those who test positive via ATKs – and 100 fatalities.

The ministry last week unveiled a plan to scrap the Thailand Pass requirement for incoming travellers from June 1 in a bid to boost tourist arrivals.

Phiphat said the move would restore normal travel to Thailand “just like in 2019” before Covid-19 triggered global travel bans.

If the government accepts the proposal, tourists will no longer be required to register for the Thailand Pass required under the Test & Go, Sandbox and quarantine schemes.

The Tourism Ministry estimates Thailand will welcome at least 7 million foreign travellers this year, lower than the previous forecast of 10 million. Tourism revenue in 2022 is forecast to rise to 1 trillion baht, or 30 per cent of the 3 trillion baht earned in 2019. The ministry is optimistic that revenue in 2023 will jump 50 per cent to 1.5 trillion baht before returning to pre-Covid levels in 2024.

Published : March 29, 2022

By : THE NATION