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Omicron Effect: Thailand Tightens Restrictions as the Number of Cases Rise

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As coronavirus instances resurface, the Thai government opted for temporary suspension of quarantine-free visas for fully vaccinated visitors on Friday, informed the government’s Covid-19 task force, while also curtailing the windows for consuming alcohol in eateries. The judgments will have a negative impact on the second economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism and allied sectors.

The quarantine-free entrance ban will remain in effect until further notice. The administration has already ceased accepting applicants from December 22. However, existing entrants may visit Thailand without needing to quarantine until January 15. Entry from countries with omicron occurrences will be allowed to resume on January 11, allowing all foreign passengers to enter Thailand under the same “sandbox” quarantine time. Thailand will also suspend an entrance prohibition on travelers flying from eight African nations deemed as high-risk effective from January 11.

During the period preceding the suspension, fully vaccinated foreign visitors having arrived from nations that are not on the authorised “Test and Go” list were qualified to gain entry through a “sandbox” strategy. It needed people to reside in a government-approved resort under one of 26 “blue zone” locations, including Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui, for seven days before being allowed to move flexibly in the state. Thailand had discontinued the majority of its “sandbox” schemes due to concerns about Omicron.

On Friday, Thailand discovered 7,526 new coronavirus cases. Daily reported cases have almost tripled from a record of 2,305 on December 28. The country has registered 2,062 omicron instances as of Tuesday.

Thailand presently allows alcohol drinking in some tourist spots at restaurants that have received the government’s highest sanitary accreditation. However, they will be ordered by the government to stop providing alcohol after 9 p.m. Pubs, bars, clubs, as well as other entertainment venues will be permitted to reopen on January 16 if they have been transformed into eateries. The Thai government had ordered these places to shut since April 2021.

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