No new COVID restrictions in Thailand, only strict enforcement of existing measures
The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will not impose any additional measures amid rising COVID-19 infections, but will strictly enforce the existing restrictions in the light of surging infections, mostly by the Omicron variant, CCSA Assistant Spokesperson Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan said today (Monday).
She said that they had taken into consideration all aspects of COVID-19, including the number of infections and the death toll, tourism, public concern about the prospect of yet another lockdown and livelihoods, before arriving at the decision not to introduce any additional restrictions and not to suspend the “Test and Go” program.
She also asked senior medical professionals not to make comments about the pandemic in a way which may cause public confusion or anxiety and to clearly state that any comments they do make are their personal opinions and not those of their organisations.
The “Test and Go” program resumed on February 1st and Dr. Apisamai said that 3,495 (2.55%) of the 137,090 arrivals from abroad were found to be infected.
“Test and Go” tourists take RT-PCR tests upon arrival, positive results of which accounted for 46% of the infected among the arrivals. The second RT-PCR test, administered between the 4th and 7th day in Thailand accounted for 44.74% of the infections detected.
Such was the basis on which the Public Health Ministry decided not to suspend the “Test and Go” program again, despite the surge in domestic infections, while still maintaining the requirements of the program.
At a meeting last week, between the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and tourism associations, the tourism operators said they want certain requirements of the “Test and Go” program to be eased, such as the second RT-PCR test being replaced by the cheaper and faster, but sometimes less reliable, antigen test and the insurance coverage requirement being halved to US$25,000.