Some hotels are deceiving overseas visitors by taking room reservations but omitting transport from the airport and Covid-testing, which means they must buy a new package on arrival or be denied entry, according to Apisamai Srirangson, spokeswoman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
The charge does not include limousine service from the airport to the hotel or the RT-PCR coronavirus test on arrival, even though both are required as conditions of entry on a Thailand Pass.
Visitors have been thinking everything is booked when they seek QR approval for a Thailand Pass via the Foreign Ministry’s web portal.
On arrival they then find themselves having to buy a new package or be denied entry.
Some hotels were not giving refunds to visitors who subsequently cancel their room reservation and buy a limo, test and room package elsewhere, Dr Srirangson said.
Thailand Pass replaced the certificate of entry (CoE) on 1st November when the kingdom reopened to visitors. It requires visitors to have been fully vaccinated, have a clean RT-PCR test within 72 hours before boarding their flight and have US$50,000 (1.6 million baht) health insurance.
Visitors from 61 countries and two territories in the “Test and Go” programme must have a limousine service from the airport directly to their hotel, and at their hotel must be tested for COVID-19 right away by staff from specified hospitals, Dr Srirangson said.
“Some visitors booked hotel rooms via websites and did not buy limousine service, RT-PCR COVID-19 testing and antigen test kits,” she said.
Officials had informed hotel booking websites in advance of the conditions, and told them that air travellers who did not buy a limousine service and COVID-19 testing would be denied entry, she said.
“Some hotels had packages that included limousine and COVID-19 testing, but also allowed visitors to reserve only rooms and seek RT-PCR testing themselves. This shows that such hotels intentionally deceived visitors.
“Visitors, who were unaware of the requirement and bought incomplete packages, later had to cancel their reservation and in some cases did not receive a refund,” Dr Srirangson said.
Travellers apply for Thailand Pass by the ministry’s web portal, providing documentation, and receive a QR Entry Code or Thailand Pass ID by email, which is then used upon entering Thailand.