Thailand pre-departure Covid test to be lifted


Following the introduction of the Test & Go programme on March 1, Thailand will not require international visitors to take a pre-departure PCR test from April 1.


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Ao Po Grand Marina on the northeast of Phuket


From April 1, visitors to Thailand will not be required to take an RT-PCR test in the 72 hours before they depart the Kingdom. Thailand’s Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) approved the lifting of the pre-departure RT-PCR test as part of a gradual easing of restrictions to revive the country’s vital tourism sector, according to CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin.


However, an RT-PCR Test upon arrival (day one) and an antigen self-test (ATK) on day five remain in place for travellers entering under the Sandbox scheme or the new Test & Go programme, which also allows vaccinated travellers to enter the country without quarantine.


On March 1, CCSA allowed Test & Go travellers to enter Thailand by land and sea, not just air. On March 9, Phuket welcomed its first group of Test & Go travellers entering the island province by sea, and tourism officials say more visitors travelling on yachts and cruise ships will be entering under the quarantine exemption scheme.


Those travelling by sea must isolate on the yacht or cruise ship and those arriving by air must stay at an approved hotel or resort for a night while they await results. Vaccinated travellers are advised to apply for Test & Go instead of the Sandbox programme, which has reduced its required stay to five nights instead of seven.


Phuket-based Gordon Fernandes, co-founder of Asia Pacific Superyachts, said: “It’s great the Government is easing restrictions for yacht visitors and even more lifting of restrictions is planned soon. We are keeping our clients and superyachts interested in visiting Thailand advised of all changes.”


Phuket is the hub of yachting in Thailand and has four major marinas. Phuket Yacht Haven in the north and Ao Po Grand Marina in the northeast each have about 300 in-water berths and can accommodate superyachts, while Phuket Boat Lagoon and Royal Phuket Marina are neighbours on the east coast.


The 455-berth Ocean Marina Yacht Club, situated south of Pattaya, can accommodate superyachts up to 200ft and is the largest marina in the Gulf of Thailand, where cruising and holiday destinations include Koh Samui.

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