Thailand, Indonesia adjust quarantine regulations for arrivals

Thailand will extend the suspension of its quarantine waiver programme and bring in new restrictions after a jump in new coronavirus cases linked to the Omicron variant, the Thai Government's COVID-19 task force said on January 7.

In Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: AFP)
In Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: AFP)

Spokesman of the COVID-19 task force Taweesin Visanuyothin said new applications for Thailand's "Test & Go" quarantine waiver scheme will not be approved until further notice. But existing applicants can still enter Thailand without quarantine until January 15.

To curb local virus transmissions, alcohol consumption in restaurants will be halted after 9pm in eight provinces, including the capital of Bangkok from January 9, and banned in other 69 provinces.

From January 11, Thailand will allow quarantine-free entry into the country via the previously suspended sandbox schemes of Samui Plus, Phang Nga, and Krabi, Visanuyothin said.

Also on January 7, Thailand reported 7,526 new infections, the highest number since early November and doubling that recorded on January 1.

The same day, Indonesia’s COVID-19 task force announced dispensations from quarantine for certain groups of people in urgent circumstances, including medical conditions that are life threatening or requiring special needs, as well as circumstances of grief such as the death of family members.

Quarantine dispensation can also be given to foreign nationals who are foreign representative agencies' leaders, holders of diplomatic or work visas from ministry-level institutions or above, visitors arriving under the Travel Corridor Arrangement scheme, delegates of G20 members and respectable members of international societies.

They must submit a request for dispensation at least 3-7 days before entering Indonesia.