Thailand Pass – Quarantine or no Quarantine…?

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  • MartynSinclair
    Participant

    My experience of applying for travel to Thailand in December 2021.

    I did a lot of research in the Thai press and via You Tube bloggers (or vloggers) to understand the Thailand Pass application process. This was my first travel in the new world of locator forms and testing, where an application to cross a border DID NOT generate an immediate ‘permission to travel’.

    The experience….

    1. Sadly, there are plenty of spoof sites that purport to be the real deal, trying to steal your data. I entered the Thailand Pass portal, via the Embassy website.

    2. I initially attempted to make the application via Chrome, but this gave a continual error message. I switched to Edge, hey ho, Edge worked.

    3. There are warnings which email addresses can be used by the applicant to receive their pass. Public domain names were not all that friendly. Far better, if you are able, to register using a work email address.

    4. You require up to 6 pieces of information to upload

    a. Passport
    b. Thai Visa – if required
    c. PCR test within 72 hours of departure – check the exact type required
    d. Proof of an approved vaccine (single if permitted or double)
    d. Proof of Test and Go for arrival hotel and first night quarantine (more about this later)
    e. Travel insurance showing at least $50,000 of covid cover

    5. The uploads it must be in jpeg format or similar. No. pdf’s can be uploaded

    6. Application itself was straight forward, all standard questions.

    7. Note: you can currently only upload, 1 page to each section. This initially caused a problem with the hotel Test and Go, which was over 2 pages. The embassy’s own help page recommended 3 hotels who printed the Test and Go confirmation on 1 page. The hotel where I will be staying, needed to modify their issued Test and GO confirmation page from 2 to 1.

    8. Insurance – Thailand Pass requires you to have evidence of travel insurance cover, including covid cover for $50,000. Having checked my travel policy, I was covered but I still decided to apply and pay for the Thailand covid insurance. It cost for my trip ca. £20. If it made my entry easier, to me it was just a cost to travel to Thailand. Also, my travel insurance covid confirmation was spread over 3 pages, it may not have been verified that easily. As well, the £20 cover also ensured if a claim was needed, any bills would be paid directly from the insurer.

    9. At the end of application process, I just got a green tick to say, application was now pending. I understand that post 11th November, this has changed to providing a reference number that you can check the pass status, online.

    10. My application took a full 7 days until I received the barcode. My colleague who applied a day later got his back in 3 days.

    Quarantine

    My arrival into BKK is scheduled for early afternoon. The Test and Go hotel package, includes a transfer from airport to hotel, PCR arrival test, 3 meals etc etc. You are confined to your room until the results of an arrival PCR test is complete. In my hotel the PCR testing is carried out early evening ca.7pm and can take up to 12 hours for the result. Test timings will differ between hotels. Hence, suddenly, for me, quarantine free, could still mean being confined to room for anything up to a day, depending on arrival time.

    I was given an alternative, pay an extra amount (ca. £120) and take a 1-hour PCR test. Plan now is to be taken directly from airport to the hotels associated hospital, 1 hour PCR test and then by the time it takes to get to the hotel, shower and unpack, I should hopefully have the result and be released from quarantine.

    Other issues

    a. I was originally travelling to BKK via Singapore but due to a flight cancelation that itinerary fell through. This is the second time CX have cancelled a flight on me and caused me to change arrangements. Sadly, CX (one of my favourite airlines) now joins Ryan Air on my banned list. I have now been scheduled via QATAR and missing out on a social and business meeting in Singapore. Multi destination journeys, in the current climate appear challenging, but I am pleased to at least be getting to my office in Thailand for the first time in 22 months.

    b. Paper or Digital prints out, especially for outside Europe – I am a firm believer of having paper print outs of everything needed to travel in the covid era. My experience, of so far, 5 trips since July, is if you have proper prints outs, check in should take no longer than a couple of minutes. I have seen too many people fumbling for digital covid passes on phones and frustratingly realise they are out of date then downloading new copies at check in or resorting to find their paper copies if they have them. In the main, this is what causes the q’s at check in and delays everyone. Having a paper file, is far easier and stops the nonsense of phones being passed through plastic screens, with displays being accidentally cleared only to be passed back and forth again.

    Am pleased quarantine long distance travel is restarting from the UK..

    I hope I have included most of the process, I am sure I have missed some parts out that were not relevant to me, please do check your set of circumstances…

    11 users thanked author for this post.

    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    Martyn Sinclair’s experience when trying for travel to Thailand is why no one other than on essential business or family problem would consider going through such a load of nonsense to merely visit as a tourist……sane travel options are still few and most government solutions show merely how useless governments are…. (including that of bonkers Boris)

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    c. PCR test within 72 hours of departure – check the exact type required

    Apologies, the PCR test is required at point of departure, not as part of the Thailand Pass application process….


    stevescoots
    Participant

    Great write up Martyn,
    I am with you on having paper copies, always travel with them and I carry a copy of my NHS record around with me rather than mess about with my phone. I have seen several times at LHR and arrival at SGN people fumbling around on phones whereas I am done as fast as normal, the old normal.
    I did have an issue with CX in LHR tho, they refused my Covid test saying it was done more than 72 before arrival, despite the timing being the same on previous trips and me showing them the rules. CX Hk said I was wrong, they tried to call CX VN but could not get through. Eventually only way to resolve it was me contacting a friend at CX VN through face book lol. If I did not have their details I would have been refused boarding
    Sad to say until the lunacy of HK/CN policy goes away CX is going on my Ryanair list now, the only if zero options other options out there. The 8-hr layover on the way to SGN was tough anyway but now they are corralling transit passengers to the end of Nathan Road it’s going to be a no now, back to QR/EK for SGN

    5 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    My experience of applying for travel to Thailand in December 2021.

    I did a lot of research in the Thai press and via You Tube bloggers (or vloggers) to understand the Thailand Pass application process. This was my first travel in the new world of locator forms and testing, where an application to cross a border DID NOT generate an immediate ‘permission to travel’.

    The experience….

    1. Sadly, there are plenty of spoof sites that purport to be the real deal, trying to steal your data. I entered the Thailand Pass portal, via the Embassy website.

    2. I initially attempted to make the application via Chrome, but this gave a continual error message. I switched to Edge, hey ho, Edge worked.

    3. There are warnings which email addresses can be used by the applicant to receive their pass. Public domain names were not all that friendly. Far better, if you are able, to register using a work email address.

    4. You require up to 6 pieces of information to upload

    a. Passport
    b. Thai Visa – if required
    c. PCR test within 72 hours of departure – check the exact type required
    d. Proof of an approved vaccine (single if permitted or double)
    d. Proof of Test and Go for arrival hotel and first night quarantine (more about this later)
    e. Travel insurance showing at least $50,000 of covid cover

    5. The uploads it must be in jpeg format or similar. No. pdf’s can be uploaded

    6. Application itself was straight forward, all standard questions.

    7. Note: you can currently only upload, 1 page to each section. This initially caused a problem with the hotel Test and Go, which was over 2 pages. The embassy’s own help page recommended 3 hotels who printed the Test and Go confirmation on 1 page. The hotel where I will be staying, needed to modify their issued Test and GO confirmation page from 2 to 1.

    8. Insurance – Thailand Pass requires you to have evidence of travel insurance cover, including covid cover for $50,000. Having checked my travel policy, I was covered but I still decided to apply and pay for the Thailand covid insurance. It cost for my trip ca. £20. If it made my entry easier, to me it was just a cost to travel to Thailand. Also, my travel insurance covid confirmation was spread over 3 pages, it may not have been verified that easily. As well, the £20 cover also ensured if a claim was needed, any bills would be paid directly from the insurer.

    9. At the end of application process, I just got a green tick to say, application was now pending. I understand that post 11th November, this has changed to providing a reference number that you can check the pass status, online.

    10. My application took a full 7 days until I received the barcode. My colleague who applied a day later got his back in 3 days.

    Quarantine

    My arrival into BKK is scheduled for early afternoon. The Test and Go hotel package, includes a transfer from airport to hotel, PCR arrival test, 3 meals etc etc. You are confined to your room until the results of an arrival PCR test is complete. In my hotel the PCR testing is carried out early evening ca.7pm and can take up to 12 hours for the result. Test timings will differ between hotels. Hence, suddenly, for me, quarantine free, could still mean being confined to room for anything up to a day, depending on arrival time.

    I was given an alternative, pay an extra amount (ca. £120) and take a 1-hour PCR test. Plan now is to be taken directly from airport to the hotels associated hospital, 1 hour PCR test and then by the time it takes to get to the hotel, shower and unpack, I should hopefully have the result and be released from quarantine.

    Other issues

    a. I was originally travelling to BKK via Singapore but due to a flight cancelation that itinerary fell through. This is the second time CX have cancelled a flight on me and caused me to change arrangements. Sadly, CX (one of my favourite airlines) now joins Ryan Air on my banned list. I have now been scheduled via QATAR and missing out on a social and business meeting in Singapore. Multi destination journeys, in the current climate appear challenging, but I am pleased to at least be getting to my office in Thailand for the first time in 22 months.

    b. Paper or Digital prints out, especially for outside Europe – I am a firm believer of having paper print outs of everything needed to travel in the covid era. My experience, of so far, 5 trips since July, is if you have proper prints outs, check in should take no longer than a couple of minutes. I have seen too many people fumbling for digital covid passes on phones and frustratingly realise they are out of date then downloading new copies at check in or resorting to find their paper copies if they have them. In the main, this is what causes the q’s at check in and delays everyone. Having a paper file, is far easier and stops the nonsense of phones being passed through plastic screens, with displays being accidentally cleared only to be passed back and forth again.

    Am pleased quarantine long distance travel is restarting from the UK..

    I hope I have included most of the process, I am sure I have missed some parts out that were not relevant to me, please do check your set of circumstances…

    Martyn, I have heard that Qatar has put the UK on a red list, I would check you can get back? As I say this was from a third party and I have not seen anything mentioning this, but could be an issue getting a flight back to the UK from Qatar?

    Sorry to be the bearer of potential bad news, payback for not coming through Singapore 🙂

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Qatar has added the UK to it’s red list so anyone entering from UK into Doha has to book a 2 day quarantine package.

    Transit via Qatar is not affected in anyway.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    TerryMcManus24
    Participant

    Heading back to Blighty in 10 days time but just found out that Etihad needs/requests a “pungi stick” test for transit in Abu D..Up to now avoided it..so maybe go with Emirates who dont for Dubai….RT in Jan..but at least we have ..oor Yellow Thai Pfizer Passports..TIT etc..chai.


    rferguson
    Participant

    THANKS for your write up Martin, I will be in the process of applying for a Thailand Pass too – TWICE.

    When Australia announced it would open to citizens around the same time as Thailad would open to vistors I got working on a plan involving AVIOS and cash to get me to Australia next month. The best way I could find was JAL to BKK via HND using Avios. And then TG from BKK to SYD and return as they had a reasonable fare.

    I thought I was all clever getting ‘ahead of the game’ and booking things before all the details came out in order to nab Avios availability and cheap hotels!

    Lured by the ‘no need for quarantine’ claim by Thailand, I booked the Conrad for two nights as I will need a short overnight on the way down to OZ and a long overnight on the way back. How wonderful I was thinking. £59 per night for the Conrad, a couple nights to roam around BKK.

    Then the details were made public. My £59 a night room at the Conrad is now £159 due to the ‘Test and Go’ requirements and I have to go through the faff of the Thailand Pass application. REGRETTING my choice to go via BKK (both ways) BIG TIME.

    Can I ask who you got your insurance through? I am covered for COVID illness with my annual travel insurance but when I contacted them and asked for evidence they basically just sent a printed copy of the policy booklet. I’ve contacted them again and asked for a letter which they said they will provide but I don’t have much hope of it being accepted by the Thai authorities.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Can I ask who you got your insurance through?

    I bought the insurance through Axa which was advertised on the Embassy / Thailand Pass website, cant remember which. Took the cover, if G-d forbid their was a claim, Axa would pay the hospital direct. My annual travel policy with Amex (underwritten by Axa as well) could provide confirmation of covid cover and a print out with may name on the document, but it covered 2 separate sheets of paper so could not both be uploaded (when I applied). I just took the view that the £20 it cost for the 15 day cover, was just part of this new travel ‘experience’.

    I am also conscious of the fact that if I need to make a claim, both insurers may need to be informed to share the claim liability.

    If you did not want to take the naughty boy confined to hotel bedroom, whilst waiting for the PCR test result, I would contact the hotel and check if they can arrange a 1 hour test..

    Good luck and safe travels.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Martyn and rferguson, I wish you both the very best. I would love to go back to Thailand, one of my absolute favourite countries.

    I would echo the idea above about paper copies. The Memsahib is extraordinarily efficient and on our last trip we travelled with a huge wodge of paperwork – overkill, I initially thought, but as is so often the case with the Memsahib she was proved right!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    BPP
    Participant

    Martyn, thank you for a good ‘First Hand’ account, much appreciated. I have been waiting since our Nov 2019 trip was cancelled to re-arrange our annual ‘face to face’ in Bangkok. The Thais will have to improve significantly on these arrangemants – ‘nonsense’ as Peter rightly calls them – before we and I suspect many others will contemplate visiting. What is surprising is that as the Thais rely so much on tourism, the currency has not fallen through the floor.
    Martyn, perhaps you could add a further post on the general situation in the city – Taxis,Bars, restaurants, The Sky Train, the Public boats etc, living and getting about!
    I will have another look in February with a target of late March but I do suspect that it will be next winter before things ‘get back anywhere near normal’
    Out of interest, has anybody any experience of the Emirates ‘All Risks’ insurance which is advertised as being included in Emirates tickets. would this work in the Thai case?
    BPP.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    BPP
    Participant

    I note, according to an e-mail from ‘Siam Legal’ received this morning that ‘Thai Pass’ applications are ‘temporarily suspended’ !!
    BPP

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    There is no suspension of Thai Pass and there has been indeed some relaxing of certain rules.

    There was an error on the Thai Gov website that was corrected yesterday.
    The temporary suspensions only apply to some African countries due to increased virus precautions.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    BPP
    Participant

    This is a copy of the e-mail recieved on 27th.

    Thailand Pass Application Temporarily Suspended

    The Thailand Pass system will temporarily suspend the registration for the Thailand Pass QR code for travelers arriving in Thailand on December 16 and onwards. The registration for Thailand Pass will resume on December 1, 2021.

    For travelers arriving in Thailand before December 16, 2021, the application for Thailand Pass is open as usual. You may visit https://tp.consular.go.th/

    Left hand – Right Hand comes to mind!

    BPP

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