The CCSA today determined to consider to discontinue the requirement that visitors pass a pre-travel Covid-19 test, from April 1, but testing on arrival will continue.
The government has announced plans to scrap the pre-departure Covid-19 test requirements for vaccinated travellers entering the country under the Test & Go and Sandbox schemes. “It is being considered that the RT-PCR test prior to arrival will not be required anymore,” foreign affairs spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun said.
However it was still be required for a RT-PCR test for COVID-17 on the day of their arrival and an antigen test on day 5 after arrival. It was stated the requirement for pre-travel tests would end for all visitors, whether arriving by Test & Go, Sandbox or quarantine channels.
As of April 1, both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers under “Alternative Quarantine” program will only be required to isolate five days, rather than seven and 10 days, respectively.
Additionally, the CCSA would continue to require visitors to have Covid-19 insurance coverage of at least US$20,000 but was likely to reduce it later, Dr Taweesilp said.
It was reported that from April 1 people would be able to arrive by land through Satun province in the South, in addition to current Nong Khai, Udon Thani and Songkhla. By air, the reopening would include Hat Yai airport in addition to the current Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Chiang Mai and U-tapao airports.
For the upcoming Songkran festival, the committee agreed with the Department of Health to prohibit people from splashing water but allow them to participate in traditional activities
The CCSA also extended the Covid-19 emergency decree by two months until May 31 to control the spread of Covid-19 and updated the colour-coding of provinces based on the Covid-19 situation.
The orange or controlled zone has now been reduced from 41 to 21 provinces, namely: Chiang Mai, Tak, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Buri Ram, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ayutthaya, Phatthalung, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Ranong, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Songkhla, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Surat Thani, Udon Thani and Uttaradit.
The yellow or highly-monitored zone has now been increased from 25 to 47 provinces, namely:
Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Khon Kaen, Chanthaburi, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chumphon, Chiang Rai, Trang, Trat, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Sawan, Narathiwat, Nan, Bueng Kan, Prachinburi, Pattani, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phrae, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Mae Hong Son, Yasothon, Yala, Roi Et, Lopburi, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Si Sa Ket, Sakon Nakhon, Satun, Samut Songkhram, Sa Kaew, Saraburi, Singburi, Sukhothai, Suphanburi, Surin, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu, Angthong, Amnat Charoen, Uthai Thani and Ubon Ratchathani.
The blue or pilot-tourism zone has increased from eight to nine provinces, namely:
Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Chonburi, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phang Nga, Phetchaburi and Phuket.
The strategy to transition to declaring COVID an endemic disease was also recently approved during a NCDC meeting at the Public Health Ministry chaired by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
At the end of the transitional period, no more Covid tests will be required and all nightlife entertainment places will be allowed to operate as usual.