Tourism

Thailand to resume ‘Test & Go’ quarantine waiver from February

Fully vaccinated travelers will be able to have their quarantine waived when entering Thailand as the nation resumes its ‘Test & Go’ scheme.

The scheme was suspended a month ago as the Omicron variant and growing uncertainty about vaccine effectiveness against it spread throughout the globe.

The ‘Test & Go’ policy requires visitors to test on arrival and again five days later, while agreeing to have their whereabouts tracked, according to Reuters.

Authorities have also extended the hours that restaurants can serve alcohol to 11pm, instead of 9pm, however bars and nightclubs will remain closed.

The update aims to revive Thailand’s tourism sector in the face of its being decimated by the pandemic.

Visitors last year to Thailand were about 0.5 per cent of the pre-pandemic figure, which hit a record of nearly 40 million in 2019.

The update came alongside the announcement that Thailand would extend its “Sandbox” to include popular eastern beach destinations Pattaya and Koh Chang.

The scheme, where vaccinated tourists must agree to stay in one location for a week, is currently operating in Phuket and Koh Samui.

These updates come after Thailand recently announced a tourism tax of 300 baht (AU$12).

The fee adds to a long list of requirements that Thailand currently has for entry into the country, which include pre-payment for COVID-19 tests, hotel accommodation or quarantine, and having insurance with COVID-19 treatment coverage of at least US$50,000 (AUD$69,393).

Thailand has recorded 2.3 million COVID infections and nearly 22,000 coronavirus-related deaths overall. Nearly two-thirds of its population have received two shots and 15 per cent have received a booster.


Featured image: iStock/Wiphop Sathawirawong



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