Following an inevitable rise in cases of the Omicron variant in Thailand, the government will discuss postponing the resumption of the Test & Go entry scheme. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says that the scheme was originally suspended due to concern over mounting Omicron infections globally. However, imported Omicron cases have now been detected in people arriving through Test & Go.
“In the interests of health and safety, we have decided to delay the Test & Go scheme further. We will present the proposal for approval by the CCSA.”
The Bangkok Post reports that travellers whose Thailand Pass applications have already been approved under the Test & Go scheme must now enter the country by January 10. The government had originally announced this on December 21, but the rule was subsequently reversed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Now, Anutin says those who do not enter before January 10 will only be able to enter the kingdom under the Phuket sandbox scheme or via quarantine.
The minister says there were a further 229 Omicron infections reported in Thailand yesterday, meaning a total of 1,780 to date. Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit from the Public Health Ministry says several clusters have been linked to restaurants and bars where Covid-Free safety measures were not being observed. He says patrons of those venues should take antigen tests and work from home for at least 2 weeks if they have the ability to do so. Those who cannot work from home should take 2 antigen tests during the first week and monitor their symptoms for another 2 weeks.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana says all government agencies, banks, and private sector companies are asked to carry out antigen testing on their employees in order to curtail the spread of the highly-contagious variant.
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SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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