Further restrictions for travellers from Africa as Cabinet reverses decision to use ATK tests

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Travellers from one of eight African countries are no longer permitted to travel to Thailand as a precaution against the spread of new COVID-19 variant Omicron.

The countries are:

1. Botswana
2. Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
3. Lesotho
4. Malawi
5. Mozambique
6. Namibia
7. South Africa
8. Zimbabwe

Thai citizens living in the eight countries are allowed to return to Thailand, but they must first undergo a 14-day quarantine and undergo three RT-PCR tests.

In addition, from December 6, 2021, Thais and foreigners who have records of residing or traveling in other African countries during the previous 21 days before to entering Thailand must quarantine for 14 days and undergo three RT-PCR tests.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet has announced a reversal of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA) decision to relax the testing requirement for people visiting Thailand.

Last week, the CCSA announced that from December 16, people visiting Thailand under the Test & Go program would only need to complete an ATK test after arriving.

However, in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has said the requirement to use on-arrival RT-PCR testing will remain in place for the time being.

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha elaborated 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.