Thailand is reinstating its mandatory Covid-19 hotel quarantine for foreign visitors due to the rise in cases of the Omicron variant around the world.

The country is halting its ‘Test and Go’ waiver programme which allows fully vaccinated travellers to take a PCR test upon arrival in Thailand and isolate in a government-approved hotel for one night until they receive a negative result.

The government said that the 200,000 people who have already registered for the Thailand Pass as part of the ‘Test and Go’ programme will still be eligible to enter the country. They will have to take a test upon arrival and a second test seven days later at the expense of the government.

The country’s sandbox scheme is also suspended in all destinations apart from Phuket. In this case, visitors are allowed to move freely around the resort island and are not restricted to their accommodation, but cannot move to a different location.

Visitors to Thailand will therefore either have to undergo hotel quarantine which ranges from seven to ten days, or apply for the Phuket Sandbox programme.


Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said:

“This is not to shut off tourists but to temporarily suspend arrivals”, adding that the decision is set to be reviewed on January 4.

This comes after the country reported its first case of domestic transmission of the Omicron variant last week.

Thailand reopened to foreign visitors in November following almost 18 months of strict entry restrictions.

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