Thai government to consider cancelling Test & Go entry scheme – Health Minister

Nearly two months after Thailand opened its doors to international tourism, the country may tighten restrictions and cancel the quarantine exemption scheme, Test & Go. In an interview on Channel 9, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that the Thai government will discuss whether to cancel the entry scheme due to the uptick in Omicron cases.

So far, there have been 63 confirmed Omicron cases in Thailand. All of the cases have been imported from overseas, but health officials say a possible local transmission is still under review.

Test & Go was launched on November 1, allowing vaccinated travellers from 63 countries to enter Thailand without undergoing a lengthy quarantine. Test & Go travellers have been required to book a night at an approved hotel to stay in isolation while they wait for the results from an RT-PCR Covid-19 test.

If the Test & Go scheme is cancelled, vaccinated travellers would still be able to enter Thailand under the “sandbox” scheme which allows them to roam freely in a province or district approved for the pilot tourism programme, such as Phuket and Koh Samui. They must say in the “sandbox” area for seven days before travelling to other areas of Thailand. Travellers who are unvaccinated need to undergo alternative quarantine at an approved facility for 10 to 14 days, depending on which country they travel from.

Following the emergence of the Omicron variant, Thai authorities banned travellers from eight African countries considered to be at high risk for the mutated strain and imposed a 14 day quarantine for those from other African countries.

SOURCE: Matichon


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