Thailand on Tuesday announced that they would suspend the Test & Go and Sandbox, except Phuket, programs to limit the spread of the Omicron Covid-variant and move back to mandatory quarantine.
They set a deadline of 00:00 on December 22, 2021, for those wishing to enter quarantine free to get their applications in. The government was transparent that existing Test & Go and Sandbox passes would be honored.
You can access Thailand’s page for Test & Go, Sandbox, and Quarantine Programs here.
The current notice on the website:
Previously, I had entered Thailand utilizing the Phuket Sandbox that had burdensome document requirements, and it took me a while to get the approval.
I had purchased one of the premium fares that Freddo wrote about ex-Stockholm to Bangkok and returning from Singapore. I planned to finalize the required documents and apply for the Thailand Pass QR Code between Christmas and the new year.
Test & Go Cancelled
Official: Thailand Test&Go Quarantine Free Entry Program Cancelled, Existing Passes To Remain Valid
The proposed change to the program the other day made me to:
1. Make a reservation for a Test & Go package for Le Meridien Bangkok and request the hotel to issue the required document
2. Contact Axa by email and request them to issue the proof of insurance that Thailand requires
After taking these two steps, the prime minister announced that the program would be halted, but there were still six hours left for me to get the required docs submitted.
Axa asked me to call to get my Amex Platinum number (insurance comes with the card), and I had the insurance certificate in my email within a few minutes after the call.
Le Meridien Bangkok asked me to send them proof of vaccination, a copy of my passport, and the airline ticket. After I sent these by email, I had the confirmation from the hotel.
I didn’t hope that this would work out due to the time constraint at the beginning of the application, but I decided to give it a go nevertheless.
Copy of Passport
The form requested to upload a clean copy of your passport’s information page. Simple.
Proof of Vaccination
Here’s where it gets a bit confusing. The form requested both proofs of vaccination AND a QR code.
Luckily, I had requested paper proof of both shots and downloaded a copy of the EU Digital Covid Certificates when it had only the first shot recorded. So I cut the QR code part, per instruction, for both shots and uploaded them.
The next step was to indicate the hotel I had booked for the Test & Go and upload the confirmation.
I then had to indicate the policy number and the start date + upload the proof.
Then I just pressed submit, and the documents were uploaded. There was a confirmation number that I could use to check the status of the application.
The confirmation also came by email.
I used the registration code, my passport number, and my email address to check the status of the application. The website indicated that it usually takes 3 to 7 days to complete the process.
The confirmation with the QR code came in less than six hours after I had submitted the documents.
My Phuket Sandbox Experience
- Thailand Phuket Sandbox Experience – Worth It?
- Phuket Sandbox Arrival Experience
- Phuket Sandbox “Your registration/application for COE has been confirmed”
- Thailand Phuket Sandbox Application Completed
- Thailand Phuket Sandbox COE Amendment
- Singapore Transit Experience
Now, I only need to hope that the KLM won’t drop the flight to Bangkok in four weeks. There certainly will be last-minute cancellations from potential travelers that haven’t applied to their Thailand Pass yet under the Test & Go.
It may well be that the program is brought back in due course, but the damage is already done. The limited number of passengers that would have come under this Test & Go is further curtailed, although Phuket’s Sandbox is still an option.
This change ensures that the hotel rates in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand will stay distressed longer.