Thailand will continue using the RT-PCR method to screen arrivals for Covid-19 as a preventative measure to keep the Omicron variant from reaching Thai soil. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced today that the Cabinet decided to reverse the CCSA’s decision to change the testing method to the faster, yet less reliable ATK method. The Thai government says the order on PCR tests for arrivals will soon be published in the Royal Gazette.
On Friday, the CCSA had decided to change the testing method for vaccinated travellers from 63 approved countries entering under the Test & Go quarantine exemption scheme. The change was set to start on December 16. The rapid test was intended to make the entry process more convenient.
But with news over the weekend of the emergence of the Omicron variant, which has several mutations and is designated as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation, Thai officials held an emergency meeting to discuss preventive measures.
The Thai government has also suspended the issuance of the Thailand Pass QR code to those from eight African countries considered to be at high risk of the Omicron variant. Those entering Thailand from other countries in Africa will be required to undergo a 14 day quarantine at a certified hotel or facility and take three PCR tests before they are released.