Test & Go’s return gets an early test
Massive arrivals for Chinese New Year
With more than 465,000 tourists expected at Suvarnabhumi airport between January 26 and February 7, during the Chinese New Year festivities, the government says it is fully prepared for the resumption of the Test & Go program on Tuesday.
Kittipong Kittikachorn, the airport’s chief executive, told media yesterday that the expected tally includes 115,931 international passengers and 349,522 domestic travellers. He said the figures constituted a 37.12% increase in air traffic compared to the same period last year.
Mr Kittipong said 10 airlines have already requested 50 more flights between them over the period.
The three main carriers offering the most special flights during the period are Bangkok Airways with 14 flights, Myanmar Airways (eight) and T’Way Airlines, the South Korean low-cost airline, (eight), a-t- He specifies.
This year, the Chinese New Year holiday will be between Sunday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana revealed yesterday that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had expressed confidence that Thailand was fully ready to welcome tourists back under the Test & Go program which will resume on February 1.
This will help the tourism sector rebound after the program was suspended following the appearance of the Omicron variant, the spokesman said quoting the Prime Minister.
He said Thailand’s public health system was sufficiently equipped to deal with the situation after the program resumed and at least eight million tourists were expected to arrive throughout the year, generating some 480 billion baht in revenue. income.
Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday met with representatives of the Tourism Council of Thailand and tourism associations in eastern Thailand to interviews.
The group thanked the government for its decision to resume the Test & Go scheme and urged it to accelerate efforts to resuscitate the tourism sector, Ms Traisulee said.
One proposal involves exemption from value added tax for hospitals (hospital-hotels) as an incentive for operators and to reduce their financial burdens. Mr Anutin pledged to submit the proposals for consideration by the prime minister and the cabinet, Ms Traisulee said.
She went on to announce that the government was considering measures to reopen the country, although it would still be necessary to follow virus prevention protocols.
The “Test & Go” program for international visitors resumes on Tuesday with a number of additional measures in place, including another RT-PCR test on the fifth day after travelers enter Thailand.
The program was suspended earlier this month in response to growing concerns over the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Under this program, foreign visitors must spend one night in a certified hotel while awaiting the result of their first RT-PCR test taken upon arrival.
Those who test negative for Covid-19 are then allowed to leave and explore the rest of the country.
When Test & Go resumes on February 1, travelers will need to take two tests, one on day one and then another on day five.