Thailand continues to impose quarantine-free entry ban

BANGKOK: In the face of an unprecedented Covid-19 rise, Thailand has decided to keep its quarantine exemption programme suspended while enhancing pandemic control measures.

New applications for Thailand's Test & Go quarantine exemption plan would be denied till further notice, according to Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), as quoted by the state media. Those who have received approvals can still enter Thailand without being quarantined until January 15, according to Taweesin.

Thailand recorded 7,526 new confirmed cases on Friday, the biggest daily total since November 8, 2021, and more than quadruple the weekly average of more than 3,000. According to the CCSA, it also documented 19 more deaths in the last 24 hours.

With the exception of the resort island of Phuket, the Southeast Asian country halted the quarantine-free travel scheme and most of its Sandbox Program, which enables quarantine-free entry while requiring visitors to stay in a specific destination for seven days with free movement during their stay, due to concerns about a new wave of the pandemic, beginning December 22, 2021.

Thailand will allow quarantine-free entry to additional places through the sandbox programme beginning January 11th, according to the CCSA, including Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, as well as the provinces of Krabi and Pang Nga.

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