Thailand suspends quarantine-free scheme to halt Omicron spread hinh anh 1Passengers at Phuket International Airport, Thailand, November 1, 2021.(Photo:AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai Government announced on December 21 that it would suspend “Test and Go” - quarantine-free programme, amid concerns about the Omicron variant situation worldwide.

Accordingly, the "Test and Go" programme as well as the issuance of Thailand Pass will be suspended and be reviewed on January 4 next year. Those who have registered and been granted Thailand Pass can still enter Thailand until January 10, 2022 but will have to undergo seven-day quarantine.

After January 4, all people entering the country will be subjected to 14-day quarantine or can enter without quarantine under the Phuket Sanbox programme. Authorities have not mentioned whether to suspend the quarantine-free entry programme in two localities Bangkok and Samui.

The move came as the number of Omicron cases in the country has almost reached 100.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the suspension of "Test and Go" programme was necessary to prevent an outbreak of new infections.

The "Test and Go" programme and the Thailand Pass system were introduced on November 1, contributing to a significant increase in the number of tourists entering Thailand.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government is considering lengthening mandatory quarantine to stop the spread of Omicron variant.

Speaking at a press conference on December 21, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi the Government has held a meeting to mull over extending the quarantine period to 14 days if the Omicron variant spreads more widely.

So far, Indonesia has confirmed three people infected with Omicron, all imported cases. Currently, international travellers and Indonesian citizens must undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine period at a hotel or designated location. The number of COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals or self-quarantine at home in Indonesia has decreased recently and is now just over 4,800, compared with more than 550,000 at the end of July./.