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Test & Go for overseas arrivals to be restored, fine-tuned

BANGKOK: The Test & Go programme will be reintroduced soon while entry rules under the scheme will be tweaked to allow close monitoring of overseas arrivals’ health, said Gen Supoj Malaniyom, head of operations at the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

International passengers arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport on Dec 20, 2021, shortly before the suspension of the Test & Go entry scheme. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

Gen Supoj, also secretary-general of the National Security Council, added that Test & Go rules need to be tightened. The CCSA is looking into ways to monitor the health of overseas arrivals during the first seven days of entry, reports the Bangkok Post.

It appears that under the tightening of the programme, arrivals will undergo two RT-PCR tests during their initial seven days, the first upon arrival and the second on the fifth or sixth day.

Before the programme was suspended earlier this month due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, overseas visitors only had to spend one night at a hotel. If their COVID-19 test was negative, they were free to leave their accommodation and enjoy their holidays. Gen Supoj said the CCSA yesterday (Jan 19) assessed the pandemic situation in the kingdom and found that daily caseloads, which had shot up previously, were now stabilising.

The centre is considering adjusting areas with varying degrees of COVID-19 prevalence and easing some restrictions to allow greater mobility. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted measures should be modified where necessary to help revive the economy.

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Also yesterday, the Public Health Ministry suggested that overseas visitors take out comprehensive health insurance that covers all COVID-19 treatment cases. Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, the public health permanent secretary, said visitors must ensure they are fully covered for all types of COVID-19 treatments.

Partial insurance coverage leaves the government to pick up the rest of the bill. So far, B100 million of state funds have been disbursed.

“We will no longer subsidise. The visitors must buy insurance that covers all treatments or purchase additional health insurance when they arrive here,” Dr Kiattiphum said. “The measure will take effect when Test & Go is reintroduced.”

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