Thailand considers suspending quarantine-free arrival on Omicron fear

Thailand’s Public Health Minister said on Monday that Thailand will consider suspending the quarantine-free scheme, Test & Go, after detecting more than 60 cases of the Omicron variant so far.

The tourism-reliant country will rely on the remaining Sandbox scheme, which requires seven days to prove negative Covid-19 result, and the state quarantine option for travelers, minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in a television interview. 

Anutin said he will propose the plans to the Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) shortly as the situation is concerning. 

“Because of the escalating outbreaks during this time, the meeting would be rushed to take action as quickly as possible,” he noted. 

Since November, Thailand has reopened to fully vaccinated tourists from 63 countries by exempting mandatory quarantine. The Test & Go scheme requires only one night at a certified hotel awaiting the result of the RT-PCR test.

As of December 18, the country saw over 230,000 visitors via the Test & Go scheme mainly from Europe and North America.

Anutin also said that there will be more measures to tackle the spread of the virus, especially for the New Year’s Eve celebration.

“I apologize for the new measures that will be introduced, which may disturb the celebration,” he said.

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