From midnight on December 22, no new applications for quarantine waivers under the Thailand Pass scheme will be considered. The government says this is a temporary suspension rather than a permanent ban, but there is no date yet for the suspension to be lifted.
The pass, which came under the ‘Test & Go programme’, was launched on November 1.
Travelers who have already signed up and been approved will not be affected by the new regulations. However, if they have not yet entered Thailand, they now have to do two PCR tests upon arrival, one of which will be in a government facility.
Thailand has also announced that it will expand its nationwide contact tracing program, but has not yet shared details on how that will happen.
Those who have applied for the Thailand Pass but have not yet been approved can also continue as soon as they receive a response to their application.
The Omicron variant was first identified by scientists in South Africa in November. It is now the dominant strain of new infections in the United States.
Eric Cheung of DailyExpertNews contributed to this report.