The new rule came into effect following the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) issuing a Notice to Pilots (NOTAM) yesterday (Dec 24).
The notice, in Thai, was posted online by the CAAT after 4pm yesterday and shared by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department at 10pm last night.
“Today (24 Dec 2021), the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has issued a pilot announcement (NOTAM) informing airlines around the world that it is compulsory to distribute documents for entering the country from the plane and inform passengers to have the completed entry documents ready before leaving the plane,” the notice read.
The reasons given for introducing the requirement were “to reduce congestion in airports to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)”.
“Because there are still international passengers who have been approved to travel to Thailand, therefore to reduce congestion in the airport and to comply with disease control measures… the CAAT has issued a Pilot Notice (NOTAM) telling airlines around the world to hand out public health forms and the form of entry into the country from the plane, such as the consent form for the second test for COVID-19 by RT-PCR method, for passengers to complete,” the notice continued.
Passengers must “have all their documents ready before leaving the plane to reduce the problem of congestion in the passenger terminal causing a delay in traveling to Thailand,” the notice added.
The notice dedicated special attention to the consent form for the second RT-PCR test now required since the central government suspended all Test & Go arrivals on Tuesday (Dec 21).
“The second COVID-19 test by RT-PCR method is based on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Administration Center Order 25/2564 dated December 22, 2021… that in the case of a traveler entering the Kingdom of type (1), they shall be tested for COVID-19 by the second RT-PCR method from a hospital or government agency and private as prescribed by the government during the 5-6th of the period of stay in the Kingdom or when there are symptoms of respiratory disease,” the notice explained.
“The government is responsible for expenses [of the second test] in accordance with the rules or guidelines set by the government,” the notice concluded.
All Test & Go visitors already approved to enter the country will still be allowed to travel to Thailand.
The compulsory health form also affects all travellers still coming to Phuket under the Phuket Sandbox scheme. Phuket currently remains the only port of entry to Thailand under a Sandbox scheme.
Of note, travellers may still enter the country under the 14-day Alternative Quarantine option.