The on-arrival RT-PCR COVID test requirement for international travelers entering Thailand via the Test & Go pathway was scheduled to be lifted on Dec 16 and replaced with a simpler ATK test.
However, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has confirmed that the meeting of Cabinet ministers yesterday (Nov 30) reversed the CCSA’s lifting of the on-arrival RT-PCR test requirement for international travelers.
The decision came in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, he said.
Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha also confirmed that the Cabinet resolved to keep current practices for screening international arrivals in place, including the on-arrival RT-PCR test, in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant.
He attributed the decision to the incomplete information available on the new variant. He also expressed confidence that if found, cases of Omicron variants will be traceable.
Mr Sathit said he was concerned over illegal entries at borders, as infections carried into Thailand through this channel will be difficult to trace.
He added that the prime minister has told responsible agencies to stringently tighten border security, and has threatened punishment for security lapses.