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Test & Go Suspended Indefinitely – Things You Need To Know About Entry To Thailand

Published: December 24, 2021 at 5:53 pm

thailand pass lane

After launching quarantine-free re-entry into Thailand 7 weeks ago, officials announced the suspension of the Test & Go and “Sandbox” program except for Phuket Sandbox effective December 22. Individuals who have registered and been accepted for the Thailand Pass system can still continue to enter the country using the Test & Go or Sandbox program.

According to the deputy spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Natapanu Nopakun, the new guidelines have been published in the Royal Gazette and the resolution was taken in response to an increasing number of Omicron variant cases involving travelers entering Thailand from other countries.

Natapanu quoted a recent study from WHO or World Health Organization which stated that the Omicron variant is spreading faster than the Delta variant. He added that the suspension of Thailand Pass registration can prevent the possibility of an infection surge that could overwhelm the country’s healthcare system.

On Monday, December 20, Thailand reported the first local transmission of the Omicron variant. The next day, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and CCSA or the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration set an emergency meeting and decided to suspend the 2 tourism programs indefinitely. The CCSA will have a post-holiday meeting on January 4 to talk about the changes on Thailand Pass.

Travelers from authorized countries can still apply for the Thailand Pass via Alternative Quarantine programs and Phuket Sandbox.

The Test & Go program allows vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries to enter Thailand with a brief quarantine time in a hotel while awaiting the results of an RT-PCR test in just 1 day. The Sandbox program, on the other hand, allows vaccinated tourists to do their activities freely in provinces and destinations selected for the pilot tourism initiative for 7 days before traveling to other parts of Thailand.

For Approved Thailand Pass

Individuals who have been approved under the Test & Go or sandbox programs and have been issued a Thailand Pass QR code can still enter Thailand under any of the two programs.

However, they are now required to undergo another RT-PCR test, the first one upon arrival and the second one on their 7th day in the country at a government-assigned facility.

The government announced that the last group of people accepted under the Test & Go system are still permitted to enter the country until January 10. The Department of Consular Affairs, which operates the Thailand Pass website, has made no formal comment on a deadline for people enrolled for the Test & Go and Sandbox programs. The order issued in the Royal Gazette does not mention a deadline for individuals who have already registered and approved.

Applied for the Thailand Pass But  For Approval.

Applicants who have registered using the Thailand Pass but have not yet received a QR code must wait until their application is approved.  Once they receive their approval, they can enter Thailand under the program for which they applied.

Entry Through Phuket Sandbox

Travelers may still register and enter the country via the Phuket Sandbox program, which enables fully vaccinated travelers to remain on the island province rather than staying in a quarantine-approved hotel. Travelers must remain on the island for not less than 7 days and secure a stay at an authorized hotel or resort.

Travelers under this program are required to take an RT-PCR test upon arrival and another before day 7 of their stay. All test costs will be shouldered by the traveler. If the traveler has COVID-19 symptoms, an earlier test will be conducted.

Travelers who choose to go under this program must apply for a Thailand Pass QR code.

Entry Through Alternative Quarantine

Travelers entering Thailand under the Alternative Quarantine program or also known as “Happy Quarantine,” must spend 7 to 14 days in an authorized hotel, resort, or quarantine center.  The duration of the quarantine period will be determined by the traveler’s vaccination status and the country.

Prior to being released from quarantine, travelers will undergo 2 to 3 RT-PCR tests.

Travelers who choose to go under this program must apply for a Thailand Pass QR code.

Thailand’s No Entry List.

Due to the Omicron Covid-19 variant, travelers from 8 African countries are not allowed to enter the country.  These countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.


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