12 July 2024

The resumption of new “Test and Go” registrations, COVID-19 rezoning and yet another extension of Thailand’s nationwide State of Emergency, in place since March 2020, will be proposed to and decided by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) tomorrow (Thursday).

New applications for “Test and Go” program, which requires only minimal quarantine of no more than one night while awaiting negative COVID-19 results, have been suspended since December 22nd, to curb the spread of the Omicron variant. Currently, people who have been granted a “Thailand Pass” QR code for the program can still enter the country. The program resumption may begin on February 1st but possibly with stricter measures.

Secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC) and head of the CCSA’s Operations Centre Gen Supot Malaniyom said today (Wednesday) that the easing of restrictions on “Test and Go” travellers is intended to help boost the struggling, but vital tourism sector, which, in pre-COVID times, contributed to up to 20% of the country’s GDP.

He said more easing of restrictions will also be tabled to the CCSA. For instance, 13 areas will be declared “sandbox” zones, including five tourism pilot provinces.

He said that reopening of bars, pubs or karaoke bars will not be discussed at the meeting tomorrow, because they are still regarded as being at high risk for spreading COVID-19.

As for the emergency decree, the NSC chief insisted that the measure is still necessary and it may be extended for another two months. It is scheduled to expire at the end of this month.

Regarding complaints by some parents regarding the mandatory wearing of face masks and antigen tests by students, saying they should be voluntary, Gen. Supot said the issue rests with the Education Ministry as to whether it will propose an easing of the measures.