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Thailand Test & Go registration suspended indefinitely, Sandboxes added

Tim Newton

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Registration for Thailand’s Test & Go quarantine exemption scheme will be closed indefinitely. Travellers, who are already approved to enter Thailand under the Test & Go quarantine exemption program, may have to enter before January 15 (although the cut off date of January 15 was clearly announced at yesterday’s CCSA briefing there has been a random walking back of that date by some officials late yesterday afternoon. But the CCSA will need to be making an announcement of clarification, not the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the TAT).

At its general meeting today, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration decided to continue with the suspension of the entry scheme until further notice.

Those who have received a Thailand Pass QR code will be allowed to enter Thailand under the Test & Go program over the next few days, and the last group of approved Test & Go travellers will arrive on January 15. Those travellers will need to undergo two RT-PCR tests, one on arrival and another by their seventh day in Thailand.

But a bit of good news, more destinations were approved to welcome tourists under the Sandbox entry program, along with Phuket, which has remained open to tourists – Krabi, Phang Nga and the trio of islands off the Surat Thani coast (Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao) are approved for Sandbox schemes.

The new Sandbox announcements leave out the popular tourist locations of Bangkok and Pattaya, among others, who have now left in tourist limbo until the Test & Go program, or some other program is announced.

Last month, the CCSA urgently closed registration for the Test & Go and Sandbox schemes on December 21, with the exception of the Phuket Sandbox, following the emergence of the Omicron variant. Most of the initial cases involved travellers who had recently entered Thailand from overseas.

The Thaiger will clarify any other details over the weekend, then into next week, as the Thai government make continual changes.

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If you are fully vaccinated, you can enter Thailand by booking a 7 Day Sandbox Hotel package.

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    Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand. As founder of The Thaiger in 2016, Tim is the current CEO for the company, based in their Bangkok HQ.

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