Thailand’s “Test and Go” scheme will remain suspended until at least the end of January, according to a proposal released by the Ministry of Public Health on Monday.
According a local news agency, a senior official at the Ministry of Public Health said on Tuesday that “There is no plan to bring ‘Test and Go’ back under current circumstances.”
Visiting Thailand under the aforementioned program meant that travelers were required to stay in a government-designated hotel for a single night while awaiting the negative RT-PCR test results before they could resume their travels.
But after an ongoing discussion of the epidemiological situation, the Operations Committee of the COVID-19 Situation Management Center (CCSA) said it would suggest an indefinite suspension of the entry program, which should resume on 4 February. January.
Nearly 200,000 people who had already signed up for the quarantine waiver were told December 21 that they could still enter the country with the Test & Go program.
If one thing international travelers learned during this pandemic, it’s that entry restrictions can change overnight.
For example, The Minister of Public Health said on Monday that travelers who have already received a “Thailand pass” on the “Test & Go” program should arrive in Thailand as early as January 10th.
Those unable to travel to Thailand in the next five days will have to enter the country via Phuket’s “sandbox” program.
This means they must stay at the island hotel for the first five days before traveling elsewhere or quarantining.
During this period of isolation, visitors must undergo two RT-PCR tests.
The decision is linked to unfortunate statistics showing that 78% of COVID-19 cases among foreign tourists were detected in the Test & Go program.
With over 2,000 cases of Omicron detected so far, the Ministry of Public Health has announced that the country is entering a new wave of COVID-19 infections.
Medical experts predict that daily infections will reach tens of thousands of cases in the coming weeks.
The Department of Medical Sciences reported an additional 229 cases of the Omicron variant in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 1,780, with the majority of cases in Bangkok, Kalasin, Roi-et, Chon Buri and Phuket.