Thailand, Test & Go, dive travel



Thailand pre-travel - Part 1

By Terry Smith | Blog | 28 Feb 2022

Thailand trip – March 2022 – Part 1

A look into what was necessary for a scuba dive trip into Thailand coming out of COVID-19 2022.

2021 was not a good year for me & I am sure for almost everyone else. Each country went into some form of lockdown one or more times. The city I live in, Melbourne, was named as the most lock downed city in the world at one point, which I don’t think is a good accolade.

These lockdowns affected everyone & brought a halt to both international & domestic travel to try to stem the spread. In November 2021 Australia allowed international travel of its citizens to go overseas & return if they were fully vaccinated (only some states at that time but that’s another story), without quarantining upon arrival (in select countries) & upon returning to Australia.

My love & passion is for scuba diving & sharing that passion where I can. Upon hearing this I was already thinking about where I could go on my next trip. I would have loved to have gone to PNG but at that time the opening of the border was in the distant future due to the low vaccination rate of its citizens. Singapore had a travel corridor, but it was Thailand & its efforts to get Tourists back again that swayed my decision.

I must point out that I decided to travel in November as no quarantine was necessary into Thailand but at the start of December, this was halted & has only re-started on the 1st of February 2022, due to the Omicron variant outbreak.

Also, I planned to arrive on the 5th of March, so I had to follow slightly more rules as the Thai Government changed the testing requirements from the 1st March.

Thailand Pass

The Thailand Pass is a free-of-charge web-based system designed to make the documentation process of travellers entering Thailand more efficient than what was the Certificate of Entry application.

It collects data for the entry forms as well as travel & health information like vaccine certificates. The goal of the Thailand Pass is to help support the country’s “Ease of Travel” system after it reopens and to speed up filling out information and uploading travel documents.


The Thailand Pass is required for all travellers whether Thai or foreigners based on the following travel restrictions as of the 1st March 2022.


 Fully vaccinated travellers, both Thai and foreigners will be allowed to enter Thailand without mandatory quarantine or sandbox stay. They only need to stay for 1 night in an ASQ or SHA+ Hotel while they wait for the COVID 19 RT-PCR test result that was taken upon arrival and 1 Antigen Self-Test Kit (self-ATK) on Day 5. Unvaccinated children below 18 years old may travel with vaccinated parents without quarantine. Only certain areas are allowed under this option.


 Fully vaccinated travellers may also enter Thailand without quarantine under the Sandbox Programs such as Pattaya, Phuket or Samui Sandbox. They are required to spend a minimum of 7 nights in an accredited SHA+ Hotel in these Sandbox areas before they will be allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand. Unvaccinated children below 18 years old may travel with vaccinated parents without quarantine under the sandbox program.


Non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers are still allowed to travel to Thailand. They must undergo a mandatory quarantine of 10 nights in an accredited ASQ or AQ quarantine hotel before they will be allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand.


This is what you will need to prepare for the Thailand Pass Application. I have added links to the Thai options as well.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL VACCINATION PASS – this is free for Australians, and you have to apply with your Passport details. An immunisation certificate without passport details will not be accepted.

INSURANCE POLICY – you need a policy that covers your medical expenses in Thailand if you were to get COVID. It needs to have a value or coverage of over USD 20,000 (for me it is $50,000).

ACCOMMODATION - Booked & Paid – The Thai government has certified hotels listed SHA+ which means that the staff are fully vaccinated or over 80% & adhere to strict cleaning & distancing rules. (Some hotels offer accommodation & testing as a package). I used the PCR Test website to find the testing areas then matched them to a hotel nearby.

PCR Test - Booked & Paid - There is a site where you can book & pay so I played around with it as it gives you a map with the locations on it after putting in a few details. I would recommend this as some of the testing sites are spread out & you could need a taxi to get there. I booked and paid for Day 1 & Day 5 PCR tests as that was what was required at the time.

AIRPORT TRANSFER - Booked & Paid – I have a transfer all lined up from the airport to the hotel

DEPARTURE RT+PCT TEST – Booked & Paid – For me, I used Melbourne airport which has set up a facility close to the check-in counters at the international check-in area & I needed to pre-book for a test on the day of departure. As Thailand needs a test at least inside 72 hours this is great.

An example of the COVID Passport from Australia

Photo: An example of the COVID-19 Passport from Australia


I had a couple of goes to fill it in as it only allows for JPG uploads, so you will need to print out all the confirmations & then use your phone to take pictures. This threw me as there was no mention at the start as I was expecting PDFs to be used for accommodation & transfers, but only JPGs. are used. 

There is an end section where it allows you to upload up to three extra documents in PDF format, but each step needs a JPG before allowing you to move on. The receipt from the PCR Test is the only section without an upload so you use the last section for this.

You can’t save any step so you will need to do it in one sitting which is quite quick if you have everything ready to go.

A tropical island in the Andaman Sea, Thailand. One of the many destinations you can visit under Thailand Test & Go program for fully vaccinated travelers.

Photo: A tropical island in the Andaman Sea, Thailand. One of the many destinations you can visit under Thailand Test & Go program for fully vaccinated travellers.


It is recommended to allow three to seven days once your application was submitted. I completed mine on the morning of the 26th of February for my departure on the 5 March. I received the confirmation that same day late evening, but it was very unexpected.


I have to say I spent a fair bit of time piecing the requirements together. Searching for a hotel with a testing site reasonably close & then trying to find how to pre-book the test was a challenge. But the biggest challenge in all of this was checking the insurance policies for COVID-19.

Some of the traditional travel insurances are no longer offering policies at all, some are not offering any type of COVID cover & then there are some which do but with limits. What I did notice is that the COVID policies vary greatly in the payout if you need to stay in a required quarantine setting. Some take the daily fee out of the payout of the cancellation of your trip, so technically you still end up paying for the quarantine.

Another little clause I saw was that some of the bigger insurers have changed the payout for stolen items namely sports items. One is no longer offering payout for over three years old & others vary in a deprecation value ranging from 50 to 80% value based on how long ago it was brought. The tricky part was trying to match it all for what I wanted. In the end, I had to go with a year-long policy from Australia with DAN dive insurance (I will be travelling more than once & up to two times without diving).

I would recommend that if you’re interested in travelling sometime this year look at Dive & Travel insurance first, then Dive insurance, compare them, then move onto a travel policy from your home country. Some of the Travel policies do cover scuba diving to 30m if you are in the care of an instructor. Again, if you take a lot of electronics & equipment that needs to be compared as it seems travel insurance is getting tighter with its payouts if something goes wrong or is stolen.

One of the dive travel providers DiveassureDivers Alert Network - DAN - logo
White sands on Railay beach in Krabi Thailand

Photo: White sands on Railay beach in Krabi Thailand


Something that I found later in my research is that there is an APP you need to download & use once you are in Thailand. This app is used in conjunction with the hotels & the arrival testing station.


(you may need to use google translate to adjust from Thai to English)

I tried to enter my details but it won't allow it so I will see what happens on arrival.

I printed everything out & I am now all set to go.

Once I get to Thailand, I will update in Part two how the process of arrival was as well as the testing.



Each new destination coming back online to fully vaccinated travellers should be considered as in most places they did rely on the tourism dollar. (As I write this, PNG & The Philippines are welcoming travellers again). Perhaps with the steadily increasing flow of returning travellers a more environmental & responsible approach to tourism might take place in these destinations…? (You may recall “The Beach” in Thailand & the island resort in The Philippines, both closed due to the impact of so many tourists taking its toll on the environment).