Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister of Thailand Anutin Charnvirakul said that he would propose to the Covid-19 response working group soon to cancel the Test&Go scheme for vaccinated foreign tourists. In this way, international tourists should undergo a quarantine in hotel and they are allowed to travel freely in designated areas under the “sandbox” scheme.
On November 1, Thailand ended its 18 month border blockade and reopened its doors to more than 60 countries and regions and allowed vaccinated international travelers to enter Thailand without undergoing a quarantine. Travelers from the United States, China, Singapore, Japan, India and most European countries who have completed vaccination and offer a proof that they are not infected with Covid-19 don’t have to be quarantined and can move freely after being tested negative. However, now that the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly around the world, the scheme may be changed.
Anutin said that there have been more than 60 confirmed Omicron cases in Thailand so far. Except for one case of community infection, the others are imported from abroad. Supakit Sirilak, the Director-General of the Department of Medical Sciences of the Public Health Ministry of Thailand, said that Omicron may have expanded to more than 90 countries and regions than currently known, but it has not been found. “The vast majority of confirmed Omicron cases we detected were from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, accounting for a quarter of the total number of Cocid-19 cases found at the airport. The number of Omicron cases has increased quite rapidly in the past week, which is consistent with the global situation.”
Some cases were tested negative when entering the country. A few days later, they were confirmed to be infected with Omicron.
One of the imported cases of Omicron was tested negative after entry but confirmed with Omicron a few days later. Since the case was confirmed within six to seven days, which is in the window period, Supakit believed that the government should review the quarantine exemption scheme.
Nearly two months after Thailand reopened its doors to foreign tourists, more than 150,000 international travelers have entered through some major international airports. Tourism is one of the important economic pillars of Thailand. In 2019 before the outbreak of Cocid-19, 40 million foreign tourists entered Thailand.
Plus 2,525 new confirmed cases and 31 new deaths yesterday, there are a total of 219,4053 Covid-19 cases and 21,408 deaths in Thailand so far.
Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children age 5 to 11.
Up to last week, more than 60% of Thailand's 72 million people had received two doses of vaccine. After the emergence of the new variant Omicron, the authorities accelerated the vaccination of booster. The authorities estimated that the national vaccination rate can reach 90% in March of 2022. Thailand's Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it had approved Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children age 5 to 11.