There was joy among many in the Thai travel industry and from tourists, as news came at the end of last week that the country would be dispensing with arrival PCR tests for travellers under the Test & Go scheme.
There are fears however that the newly identified Omicron variant of Covid-19 will cause a delay to the plans which were schedule to begin from 16th December.
The news of the removal of PCR testing was confirmed on the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) website over the weekend.
The current 1-night waiting period in a hotel and a confirmed payment (for 1-night stay at SHA++ hotel, 1 RT-PCR test, and pre-arranged airport transfer) will no longer be required.
On arrival testing will be changed to an ATK method.TAT release
Currently travellers arriving in Thailand have to spend their first night in an approved hotel, no more than 2 hours from their arrival airport, and wait there until they receive a negative PCR test result.
The Bangkok Post is now reporting however that the government is considering suspending the decision following the emergence of the Omicron variant. Officials state that continuing the use of PCR testing would be more effective than the planned antigen testing.
Meanwhile travellers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe will all be banned from Thailand from 1st December in an effort to stop the spread of the new variant into Thailand, which has yet to see any confirmed cases.
Travellers from other African countries will be quarantined at specific facilities for 14 days on arrival and be subject to 3 PCR tests.
Travellers from African countries have not been allowed to enter through the Test & Go scheme but there have been people entering under the other available schemes.
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