Omicron: Thailand suspends entry without quarantine until January 4

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Thailand will reinstate its mandatory Covid-19 quarantine for foreign visitors and remove a quarantine waiver from Tuesday due to concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The decision to suspend Thailand’s “Test and Go” waiver means visitors will have to undergo a hotel quarantine, which lasts between 7 and 10 days.

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Meanwhile, a so-called “sandbox” program, which forces visitors to stay in a specific location but allows them free movement outside their accommodation, will also be suspended in all places except the island. tourist attraction of Phuket.

“After December 21, there will be no new registrations for ‘Test and Go’, only the quarantine or the Phuket sandbox,” Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhanadirek said.

The announcement came a day after Thailand reported the first case of local transmission of the Omicron variant. Read more

It also came weeks after Thailand reopened to foreign visitors in November, ending nearly 18 months of strict entry policies that have contributed to the collapse of tourism, a key industry and economic engine that has attracted 40 million visitors in 2019.

About 200,000 visitors who had previously signed up for the quarantine and sandbox waiver program will still be eligible, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said.

“This is not about blocking tourists but temporarily suspending arrivals,” he said.

The decision will be reviewed on January 4, he added.

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