The week ahead: Thai Covid Center to meet at the end of this week to discuss possible Test and Go changes in response to Omicron concerns



The following is our weekly feature in which we take a look at the top developing stories and things to follow over the next week. We are focusing on what is happening for the fourth week of December, ending December 25th, 2021.

As we publish dozens of stories a week, this allows our readers to get a quick glimpse of the most important stories taking place in Thailand and Pattaya and to monitor and follow for the week ahead, as chosen by our editorial team.

Let’s get right into it with the biggest news of the week and what important stories to follow and look for this week that are likely to see further development:

This week, there is no bigger story than the curve ball thrown at thousands of potential holiday travelers and people returning to Thailand from visits overseas than the one that Public Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul threw out yesterday at a televised lunchtime press conference.

First, as reference:

The proposal, which we have to stress is only a proposal and nothing at all has been finalized, is to revoke or change the current test and go process to enter Thailand. This process, for those unfamiliar, essentially removes quarantine for people from currently 63 low-risk countries and replaces it with a wait at a hotel for an RT-PCR Covid19 test. Once one has passed, usually in a few hours or a single night, they are free to go wherever they wish in the country.

Due to concerns about the Omicron Covid19 variant and its potential transmissibility in particular, Mr. Charnvirakul is proposing on behalf of the Department of Disease Control and Ministry of Public Health to either revoke or change test and go. This proposal is being sent to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, which is chaired by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.

The next scheduled major meeting of the CCSA is Friday, December 24th, notes TPN media although it is possible the meeting is moved up due to urgency of the situation, although messaging this morning, December 21st, seems to point to the meeting happening Friday still as of press time.

TPN media has had many, many questions about this and certainly understands the concern, anxiety, and discomfort from the sudden and unexpected proposal. We cannot stress enough this is only a proposal and they often change and are adjusted in Thailand. This sort of sudden announcement is hardly unusual, even if it is unwelcome.

Any information at this point is primarily speculation, especially around if the plan would be to lessen the number of eligible countries, what countries are or are not high risk, if the sandbox plan ( a seven day area quarantine in certain places like Phuket or Pattaya) would stay, etc.

We stress once again that there is no solid information on the proposal or final decisions and the meeting to discuss this has yet to happen. We absolutely understand this throws many travel plans into disarray and many tourism and travel organizations have already expressed this concern to the Thai government.

However, we ask our readers to stay calm and we will provide the factual, non speculative information about any changes when and if they take place. As stated, a likely candidate for the major meeting is Friday, although smaller scale meetings are likely to take place prior to this gathering.

The CCSA did indicate at their daily press conference yesterday that changes were coming but did not expand on this nor state what potential changes would take place.

We will continue to keep you updated all this week here at TPN media.

Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: