Thailand reimposes quarantine for travellers to halt Omicron spread | Inquirer News
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Thailand reimposes quarantine for travellers to halt Omicron spread

/ 08:23 PM December 21, 2021

A security guard wearing a face mask stands beside equipment to check passengers’ temperatures at a BTS skytrain station in Bangkok on December 6, 2021 as Thailand recorded on Monday its first case of the Covid-19 coronavirus Omicron variant. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

BANGKOK — Thailand reimposed mandatory coronavirus quarantine measures for foreign tourists on Tuesday, nixing a quarantine-free travel scheme as the kingdom seeks to stifle the spread of the Omicron variant.

The pandemic has clobbered the country’s tourism-dominated economy, which last year experienced its worst performance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

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In early November Thailand reopened to fully vaccinated travellers — who had to isolate for a night until they received a negative PCR test — from more than 60 countries.

But the government announced Tuesday the so-called “Test and Go” scheme will be suspended for at least two weeks.

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Visitors will have to undergo hotel quarantine for 10 days, or 14 days if they are unvaccinated.

But 200,000 travellers who already submitted applications to enter the country will be allowed to visit quarantine-free, said government spokesman Tanakorn Wangboonkongchana, adding that a second PCR test would now be required.

He said the “Phuket sandbox” — a work-around scheme that allows visitors to move around on the island while undergoing PCR tests — will remain operational.

Thailand has detected 63 cases of the Omicron variant this week, including one community case.

It has recorded more than 2.1 million Covid cases in total.

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TAGS: cover-19, News, Omicron, Quarantine, Thailand, world
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