| 3 October 2022, Monday |

Thailand to resume quarantine waiver for arrivals from February

Thailand will restart its ‘Test & Go’ quarantine waiver for vaccinated arrivals on Feb. 1, according to the coronavirus task group, in response to a slowdown of COVID-19 cases.

Due to the rapid global spread of the Omicron form and uncertainties regarding vaccination efficacy against it, the plan was terminated a month ago after only seven weeks.

According to Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokeswoman for the policy, visitors must take a test upon arrival and again five days later, while agreeing to have their locations recorded.

Authorities also extended the hours for eateries to offer alcohol from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. However, bars and nightclubs will stay closed.

The initiatives are aimed at recovering a tourist industry that has been destroyed by the epidemic, with numbers constrained by low worldwide travel demand and Thailand’s stringent quarantine laws.

Last year’s visitors to Thailand, one of Asia’s most popular tourism destinations, were around 0.5 percent of the pre-pandemic level, which reached a high of almost 40 million in 2019.

The taskforce also decided to expand the “Sandbox,” a similar quarantine waiver initiative, to include famous eastern beach locations Pattaya and Koh Chang.

The plan, which requires vaccinated travelers to pledge to stay in a single place for a week, is presently in operation in Phuket and Koh Samui.

Thailand has recorded 2.3 million coronavirus infections and almost 22,000 coronavirus-related deaths. Approximately two-thirds of inhabitants have been immunized, and 15% have gotten a booster.

  • Reuters