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Khao San Roars Back To Life As Test & Go Axed

08 May, 2022

Businesses on Khao San Road are surging back to life as more foreign visitors are returning after the cancellation of the Test & Go entry scheme.

Sa-nga Ruangwatthanakul, president of the association of business operators in the backpacker haven said on Saturday that businesses in the area have been revitalised.

''Even though tourist numbers may not be as high as before, business operators can still earn about 5 million baht a day on weekdays, and up to 10 million baht a day on weekends,'' he said, adding this was attributable to the entry scheme being scrapped.

He said foreign tourists began returning to Khao San Road during Songkran and there have been more arrivals since the scheme ended on May 1.

However, tourist numbers are still no more than 20% of the pre-Covid level, he said.

Mr Sa-nga called on the government to scrap the Thailand Pass registration requirement for foreign travellers and roll out tourism promotional campaigns to draw people back.

He also supported the government's move to downgrade Covid-19 to endemic status, saying this will help boost domestic tourism.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul previously said the Public Health Ministry would ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to consider scrapping the Thailand Pass registration requirement for Thai returnees. It has been retained for foreign arrivals but the CCSA will be asked to axe it for them in the future, Mr Anutin said.

The Test & Go entry scheme was cancelled from May 1 and fully vaccinated visitors will not be tested for the virus upon arrival. Vaccinated travellers must register for entry via Thailand Pass and present proof of vaccination. They are urged to self-test with antigen kits during their stay, however.

Unvaccinated travellers will be welcomed into the country if they present proof of a negative RT-PCR test administered no more than 72 hours before their trip and have registered via Thailand Pass. They will be allowed entry without need for any Covid-19 testing once in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Suttipong Juljarern, permanent secretary for the Interior Ministry, has written to tell the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of the Interior Ministry's decision to stop using the "Mor Chana" contact tracing system, a source said. This could act as a further boon to tourism as the app's requirements are also seen as cumbersome.



Bangkok Post

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