Suvarnabhumi Airport
Sereechai Puttes/Time Out Bangkok

Thailand suspends its quarantine-free entry programs in fear of possible Omicron variant spread

Here we go again.

Arpiwach Supateerawanitt
Written by
Arpiwach Supateerawanitt

On 21 December, it was reported that Test & Go, the quarantine exemption program for international tourists, and all Sandbox schemes (excluding Phuket) have been officially suspended until further notice due to concern over a possible outbreak of the new COVID-19  Omicron variant.

Prime minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha and the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) confirmed the suspension, which took effect from midnight of 22 December. They also revealed that there are currently about 200,000 individuals already registered with the program—around 100,000 of whom are already in the country, while the remaining 90,000 are expected to arrive soon.

From now on, all international arrivals would be automatically sent to a quarantine scheme, namely Phuket Sandbox or Alternative Quarantine (AQ) and are also required to take an RT-PCR test regardless of their vaccination status.

What do you need to do if you want to visit Thailand?

Following the cessation of all quarantine-free passes for international arrivals, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Phuket Sandbox and Alternative Quarantine (AQ) are the only programs available for international tourists wishing to enter Thailand.

This means you have to fly to either Phuket for the Sandbox program, which requires seven days of quarantine on the island, or other destinations in Thailand for the AQ program.

Read more about Phuket Sandbox here.

What if you’ve already registered to visit Thailand?

You can still enter Thailand for the holidays. However, you can only travel around the country if your first RT-PCR test on arrival comes out negative (you’re required to spend a night in a hotel until the result comes out the next day).

What’s more, you will be tracked 24/7 via the MorChana Application, which you have to download on arrival and use to check in at every place you visit.

You also need to take a second RT-PCR test (provided by the government, thus free of charge) on the fifth or sixth day of your visit.

Prior to your visit, you have to wait for the QR Code confirming that you have been granted access to Thailand prior to the current suspension. Once you’ve gained approval, you are allowed to enter the kingdom as planned until as late as 10 January 2022.

See the announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs below.

The quarantine-free policies are suspended until at least 4 January 2022. The authorities have promised to review the suspension after the said date.

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