Bangkok, Jan 20 (EFE).- Thailand will lift mandatory quarantine requirements for travelers arriving in the country from February, officials said Thursday, after having re-introduced the measure in late December due to the global spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
International tourists can start traveling to the southeast Asian country from February 1, a spokesman for the government’s Covid center, Taweesin Visanuyothi, announced as part of the government’s latest attempt to boost the country’s battered tourism sector.
Under the “test-and-go” scheme, travelers of all nationalities will not need to quarantine after arriving, but must have a hotel reservation for the first night and undergo two Covid-19 tests, one on arrival and one on the fifth day of their stay.
In November, Thailand decided to reopen its borders for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic to fully vaccinated tourists and ended the mandatory quarantine period.
But on December 21, in the midst of the Christmas and New Year’s Eve tourist season, Thai authorities announced a compulsory seven-night quarantine was being reimposed due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
The Asian country, which at the end of December was detecting only 3,000 infections per day, has seen an increase in recent weeks to more than 8,000 infections per day.
Tourism accounts for almost one-fifth of Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) under business as usual, but last year the Asian country welcomed only 197,372 foreign visitors, compared with more than 39 million in 2019.