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Thailand’s Test & Go No-Quarantine Program Suspended Indefinitely

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Thailand's Test & Go No-Quarantine Program Suspended Indefinitely

The government of Thailand has suspended the Test & Go no-quarantine program for air travellers indefinitely, however, three provinces will be added to the sandbox scheme that currently applies only to Phuket.

Top-level policy decisions were made on Friday, with the government opting for a compromise between tourism revenue and worries about a new outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The province of Surat Thani has three additional sandbox destinations; Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan, along with; the entire provinces of Krabi and Phang-Na. Their addition time has not been announced.

Travellers in the sandbox program do not have to quarantine and can travel freely within the designated province or island but must stay there for seven days before travelling to other approved destinations.

A total of 69 provinces have strengthened their disease control efforts, and the ban on nightlife has been maintained.

The announcement was made during a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin also stated after the meeting that all measures had been considered. Above all, including health concerns and the impact on citizens.

Test & Go a No Go

In his remarks, Dr Taweesilp said that the CCSA agreed to extend until further notice the suspension of the Test and Go one-night quarantine program. Jan 15 was the last date for check-ins that had been pre-approved.

The program has registered 10,000 people who haven’t yet entered the country, he said. All successful applicants must arrive in Thailand by Monday, according to government officials. According to Dr Taweesilp, “Test & Go is a loophole for viruses to enter the country.”

According to officials at the Public Health Ministry, most people infected with the Omicron variant entered under the Test & Go program.

According to the Bangkok Post, CCSA figures, 26,402 tourists have arrived since January 1, most of them through the Test & Go programme. Last year, there were 416,160 foreign arrivals, mostly since Nov 1 when Test & Go began and before it was suspended on Dec 22.

In response to the spike in Coronavirus cases and the arrival of the Omicron variant, all Test & Go and Sandbox programs were halted on Dec 22.

Designated transportation routes and designated hotels

According to Dr Taweesilp, other sandbox destinations include Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan in Surat Thani. Furthermore, the entire provinces of Krabi and Phangnga. The date for the addition of the three provinces was not stated.

Anutin Charnvirakul, Minister of Public Health, has promised not to put public health at risk.

“The public health minister confirmed safety for the public,” he said. According to the CCSA spokesman, travellers must use designated transportation and routes and stay in designated hotels.

The CCSA decided to strengthen health controls in 69 other provinces, according to Dr Taweesilp. This included a ban on alcoholic beverages in restaurants.

All night entertainment such as pubs; bars; and karaoke parlours have been shut down across the country for an extended period. The spokesman said they may be allowed to open in mid-January.

Those who violate public health regulations will face stern action, he warned.

He also added that all offices should continue to work from home until the end of the month when possible.

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