From a tricky digital travel pass to the reality of hotel quarantine, some have found the system hard to navigate

Just over a week after タイ began a phased reopening to 観光客, some international visitors are struggling to conquer the travel admin involved.

The country announced on 22 October that it would open to tourists from 46 countries on 1 11月, starting initially with fully vaccinated 旅行者 who apply for entry through the Thailand Pass.

In what sounded like a relatively simple system, arrivals must show a negative PCR test result before and after flying to the country, take one further test on arrival, self-isolate for one night in a hotel while the results are turned around, そして – assuming the result is negativemay then freely continue their travels.

But online forums, Facebook groups and frustrated tweets tell a different story.

最初, travellers to Thailand must store their proof of vaccination, passport info, health insurance document, hotel and flight bookings in the Thailand Pass, a one-stop digital system that the country brought in to replace its lengthy Certificate of Entry (CoE) process.

Once the criteria are met, the Pass generates a QR code that is scanned upon entry to the country.

しかしながら, in its first week, the Pass was so fraught with glitches and unresolved user questions that it made headlines across the country.

“Thai officials are working to fix and improve the Thailand Pass entry system for incoming passengers by air following a growing number of complaints during the week as users encountered bugs and difficulties in using the system and getting the appropriate approval in time to meet flights and bookings,」と報告しました Thai Examiner 日曜日に.

その間, インクルード Bangkok Post reported on “complaints by some tourists that they had either experienced delays in receiving QR codes or in some cases had not received them at all, following the approval of their travel applications.”

Travellers on Facebook group Thailand Reopening reported issues ranging from never receiving a QR code despite multiple applications; the system requiring upload of a one-page insurance document when most policies are several pages long; and being rejected for including a middle name not displayed on their NHS COVID Pass.

Users of the system also reported challenges chasing up their applications once submitted, with no clear communications centre behind the digital system.

“Just sent our 10th request for the Thailand Pass, departure in 10 日々 (SF-Bangkok) – more than €1,200 already committed in this trip, starting to become crazy!,” tweeted Paris-based Lucie Hardy, tagging Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“My Dad finally received his QR code from Thailand Pass about 24 hours before his flight. We got there in the end but was a stressful experience,” tweeted James Goyder.

For UK-based travel writer Lucie Grace, しかしながら, who applied last Wednesday, the Thai Pass worked like a charm.

“Lots of people are getting in a flap about the Thailand pass, but mine did what it said on the tin,」と彼女は言った 独立者 ahead of a trip to Chiang Mai this week.

“I applied on 3 11月, received it on 7 November and I’ll fly on 10 11月. No complaints from me.”

She did identify one technical faff which could cause problems for less digitally confident travellers.

“It only accepts jpeg files of all your documents, which were emailed as pdfs, so I had to run everything through a converter. That could be challenging for some people.”

その間, some tourists have fallen foul of Thailand’s testing-on-arrival policy, with families forced into hotel quarantine when they tested positive.

Thailand-based journalist Richard Barrow published a newsletter earlier today about the consequences of testing positive while in the country, citing the case of a father separated from his family when he tested positive on arrival.

The man estimates that he will have to pay 350,000 Thai Baht (£7,882) towards hospital and quarantine fees if his insurance provider won’t cover itand his wife and children may have to fly home without him as he will still be in isolation.

“I knew that I was taking a gamble when I chose to buy plane tickets as soon as the Thailand reopening was announced,” the father told Barrow.

“We lost that bet.”

別の男, ジェームズ, interviewed by Barrow tested negative, but the friend he shared a car from the airport with tested positive, so he has found himself stuck in hotel quarantine regardless.

これを考慮して, as her trip approaches, Lucie Grace remains anxious about the possibility of testing positive.

“My biggest concern is that I test positive on arrival. I’m doing the ‘test and go’ schemeone night in a quarantine hotel and a PCR test. If I test positive but am asymptomatic, it’s a grey area as to whether the mandatory health insurance covers the expensive 14-day hospital stay," 彼女が言います.

“Some horror stories are coming out of £7k hospital bills, insurance companies saying ‘You’re not sick so it’s not covered’. That is my nightmare.”