Resumption of Test & Go good for Hua Hin, but exact details will be key: hotelier

Hua Hin Beach. File photo

The general manager of one of Hua Hin’s leading hotels has welcomed the resumption of the Test & Go scheme.

Test & Go, which allows fully vaccinated travellers to enter Thailand without having to undergo a lengthy quarantine, will resume on Feb 1, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has announced.

While the move to resume Test & Go has been welcomed by the tourism industry in Thailand as a whole, how much Hua Hin benefits from the scheme may be determined by the conditions in which tourists are allowed to travel to the city after arriving in the country.

Within hours of the announcement, Christian Roeschli, General Manager at Cape Nidhra Hotel in central Hua Hin said the hotel had already started receiving inquiries from tourists in Europe eager to travel to Hua Hin.

Devil will be in the details

“Almost immediately we began receiving emails from people in Switzerland, Germany and elsewhere in Europe,” Christian told Hua Hin Today.

“The resumption of Test & Go is of course positive, but the exact details of what that means in practice will be key”.

Christian explained that when Test & Go was originally launched, tourists were required to spend the first night of their stay in an SHA+ approved hotel located within two hours of Bangkok where they were required to wait for the results of a RT-PCR test.

If the test was negative they were free to travel anywhere in Thailand.

For most visitors this meant that they would need to spend their first night in a hotel in Bangkok.

However, the rules were then eased on Dec 16 with the CCSA announcing it was expanding its number of so-called ‘sealed routes’ to within a five hour travel distance of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

It was after this that Hua Hin started to see more bookings and more arrivals, Christian says.

Cape Nidhra Hotel.

But on Dec 22, as a precaution against the omicron variant, the CCSA announced it was temporarily suspending the Test & Go scheme.

The timing could not have been any worse for Hua Hin.

Christian says that if the five hour ‘sealed routes’ are reinstated, then Hua Hin will once again be able to benefit from the Test & Go scheme.

New requirements “not a hindrance”

The resumption of Test & Go sees a number of new requirements added for tourists who wish to enter Thailand under the scheme.

The most notable of which is that in addition to being required to stay in an SHA+ hotel on day 1 of their stay, tourists now also need to stay in an SHA+ approved hotel on day 5.

On both days they must stay in their rooms while they await the results of the mandatory RT-PCR tests – all of which must be prepaid and are at the tourist’s own expense.

Confirmation of payment must be uploaded to the Thailand Pass system prior to departure.

However, Christian said he does not see the day 5 test as being too much of a hindrance.

“The fact tourists can stay in different hotels in different parts of the country means the day 5 requirement should not be too much of a problem”.