Thailand to resume Test and Go scheme on February 1 hinh anh 1Passengers check in at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, January 11.(Photo: XINHUA/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand will resume the Test and Go scheme from February 1 and apply the programme to all countries and territories in the world instead of being limited to 63 countries and territories as before, according to the country’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Under the original scheme, which was suspended on January 7 following a surge in new COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant, fully vaccinated foreign tourists were required to book a hotel room for just one night. They were allowed to travel freely after testing negative via RT-PCR on check-in at their hotel. But under the updated scheme, fully vaccinated travellers are required to take COVID-19 tests on the first and fifth days after their arrival.

They will have to isolate themselves at a hotel while waiting for their test results and will be asked to download a tracking app to ensure they comply with the rules.

Also from February 1, the CCSA agreed to expand the "sandbox" tourism model to Trat and Chonburi provinces, along with previously approved areas namely Phuket, Krabi, Pang Nga and Surat.

The COVID-19 situation is showing positive changes as the number of new infections increases but is still under control, the CCSA said at a meeting on January 20.  The fatalities and those with severe complications were lower as compared to the Delta variant. Thus, the agency decided to ease restrictions from January 24. The number of controlled or “orange-zone” provinces will be reduced from 69 to 44 while the number of provinces put under the highly monitored list will rise to 25.

Thailand also eased regulations for restaurants, allowing alcoholic drinks to be served until 11pm every day instead of 9pm. However, bars and nightclubs must remain closed.

The above-mentioned moves are taken by the Thai Government to revive the tourism industry that has been heavily affected by the pandemic.

Visitors to Thailand last year were about 0.5 percent of the pre-pandemic figure, which hit a record of nearly 40 million in 2019. Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry estimates that some 5 million foreign visitors will come to Thailand in 2022./.