TCEB Situation Update COVID-19 Virus on 27 December 2021

Adjustment of Risk Zones, Measures for New Year Festivities, and Measures of Entry to Thailand

As the general pandemic situation in Thailand has gradually improved while the omicron variant is threatening, the Royal Thai Government has adjusted the pandemic control measures by lowering control levels but encouraged disease prevention. The announcement involves increased pilot tourism area, New Year event disease prevention requirements, and extended service hours of bar and restaurant with suitable air ventilation in order to revitalize the economy along with effective public health management. The Prime Minister therefore issued the terms and conditions to be effective from 16 December 2021 as follows: 

1. Adjust the provincial risk zones according to the situation areas and define additional pilot tourism areas

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has ordered the adjustment of provincial risk zones as follows:

1) Controlled zone – a total of 39 provinces: Khon Kaen (only Muang District, Khao Suan Kwang District, Poei Noi District, Phon District, Phu Wiang District, Wiang Kao District, and Ubolratana District), Chanthaburi (except Muang District and Tha Mai District), Chachoengsao, Chumphon, Chiang Rai (except Muang District, Chiang Khong District, Chiang Saen District, Thoeng District, Phan District, Mae Chan District, Mae Fah Luang District, Mae Sai District, Mae Suai District, Wiang Kaen District, and Wiang Pa Pao District), Chiang Mai (except Muang District, Chom Thong District, Doi Tao District, Mae Taeng District, and Mae Rim District), Trang, Trat (except Koh Kood District and Koh Chang District), Tak, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima (except Muang District, Chaloem Phra Kiat District, Chok Chai District, Pak Chong District, Phimai District, Wang Nam Khiao District, and Sikhio District), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khiri Khan (except Hua Hin Municipality, Tambon Hua Hin and 

     Tambon Nong Kae), Prachinburi, Pattani, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (except Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District), Phatthalung, Phitsanulok, Phetchaburi (except Cha-am Municipality), Phetchabun, Mae Hong Son, Yala, Ranong (except Koh Phayam), Rayong (except Koh Samet), Ratchaburi, Lopburi, Lampang, Lamphun, Songkhla, Satun, Samut Prakan (except the Suvarnabhumi Airport), Samut Sakhon, Sa Kaeo, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Suratthani (except Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui), Udon Thani (except Muang District, Kumphawapi District, Na Yung District, Ban Dung District, Prachaksinlapakhom District and Nong Han District), Ubon Ratchathani

2) High surveillance zone – a total of 30 provinces: Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Chainat, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Sawan, Nan, Buengkan, Buriram (except Muang District), Phichit, Phrae, Phayao, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Yasothon, Roi Et, Loei (except Chiang Khan District), Sisaket, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Songkhram, Singburi, Sukhothai, Surin (except Muang District and Tha Tum District), Nong Khai (except Muang District, Tha Bo District, Sri Chiang Mai District and Sangkhom District), Nong Bua Lamphu, Ang Thong, Uthaithani, Uttaradit, Amnat Charoen   

3) Pilot tourism area – a total of 26 provinces: Bangkok, Krabi, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen (only Muang District, Khao Suan Kwang District, Poei Noi District, Phon District, Phu Wiang District, Wiang Kao District  and Ubolratana District), Chanthaburi (only Muang District and Tha Mai District), Chonburi, Chiang Rai (only Muang District, Chiang Khong District, Chiang Saen District, Thoeng District, Phan District, Mae Chan District, Mae Fah Luang District, Mae Sai District, Mae Suai District, Wiang Kaen District and Wiang Pa Pao District), Chiang Mai (only Muang District, Chom Thong District, Doi Tao District, Mae Taeng District and Mae Rim District), Trat (only Koh Kood District and Koh Chang District), Nakhon Ratchasima (only Muang District, Chaloem Phra Kiat District, Chok Chai District, Pak Chong District, Phimai District, Wang Nam Khiao District, and Sikhio District), Nonthaburi, Buriram (only Muang District), Pathum Thani,  Prachuap Khiri Khan (only Hua Hin Municipality, Tambon Hua Hin and Tambon Nong Kae), Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (only Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District), Phang Nga, Phetchaburi (only Cha-am Municipality), Phuket, Ranong (only Koh Phayam), Rayong (only Koh Samet), Loei (only Chiang Khan District), Samut Prakan (only the Suvarnabhumi Airport), Suratthani (only Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui), Surin (only Muang District and Tha Tum District), Nong Khai (only Muang District, Tha Bo District, Sri Chiang Mai District and Sangkhom District), Udon Thani (only Muang District, Kumphawapi District, Na Yung District, Ban Dung District, Prachaksinlapakhom District and Nong Han District)

2. Extension of duration for the enforcement of disease control and preventive measures

The integrated control measures, prohibitions, exclusions and practices for different levels of risk zones including preparedness measures according to Regulation No. 37 dated 30 October 2021, namely the prohibition of activities with a risk of disease transmission, gathering activities that can be held without permission, integrated control measures classified by risk zones and integrated control measures in pilot tourism areas including measures, rules or guidelines established by the competent officials under such regulation will continue to be in effect.

In case of off-site operations of officials of various departments, the heads of government sector, government agencies, business owners, and private entrepreneurs consider off-site operations as appropriate. This measure shall be continued for another 14 days from 1 January 2022, in order to monitor and prevent the spread after the New Year festival holidays.

3. Adjust the integrated control measures nationwide only for the New Year holidays 

The Provincial Communicable Disease Committee shall consider the following venues, operations, and activities that can be carried out as a specific case for the New Year festival under the safety measures raised by the government to specifically monitor, prevent and control the spread of the disease.

1) Alcoholic beverage can be served in-store of the food and beverage outlets only with open area and  good air ventilation according to normal business hours on 31 December 2021, until 1:00 a.m. of 1 January 2022.

2) For the venues for New Year festival events with large gatherings of people, the entrepreneurs or the persons responsible for organizing the events must follow the following screening measures:

a. In organizing the events with groups of less than 1,000 people, the participants must be screened for attending the activities only those who provide evidence of complete vaccination responding the specified criteria.

  b. In organizing the events with groups of more than 1,000 people, the participants must be screened for attending the activities only those who provide evidence of complete vaccination responding the specified criteria together with the confirmed negative result of the COVID-19 test in the period of 72 hours before participating in the activities by testing kit and reagent related to the diagnosis of SAR-CoV-2 (COVID-19 pathogen) and antigen test kit (ATK test kit) and complying with the following elevated measures:

COVID-Free Personnel

   (1) All of the organizers, staffs, singers, and musicians must complete vaccinations according to the criteria.

   (2) All of the organizers, staffs, performers, and singers must be screened with an ATK test kit in the period of 72 hours before the event.

  (3) The risk screening must be conducted before entering the event with Thai Save Thai application or other applications.

   (4) UP-DMHTA measures must be complied with.

COVID-Free Customer

(1) The participants must register and show evidence of complete vaccination and a negative ATK test result in the period of 72 hours before participating in the activities.

  (2) The risk screening must be conducted before entering the event with Thai Save Thai application or other applications.

  (3) UP-DMHTA measures must be complied with.

COVID-Free Environment 

(1) The events must be organized in the closed areas with access control or in the open air only.

   (2) The events must be organized without congestion.

     - The tickets must be reserved in advance or the pre-register must be offered before the event date.

     - The single entry-exit channel must be defined.

     - The number of participants in the event must be limited to 1 person / 4 square meters and the sign showing the number of users must be attached.

     - The zone of participants must be defined.

     - The activities that involve close contact must be refrained from. 

   (3) The areas, surfaces, and common touch devices must be cleaned every 1-2 hours.

   (4) In case of performance, keep a distance of at least 5 meters between the stage and the audience and keep the distance between musicians and performers on stage at least 1 meter.

3) For other places or activities that are at risk of the spread, the entrepreneurs or those responsible shall take measures in accordance with the criteria that have been specifically elevated. 

The competent officials have to monitor, observe, and conduct the surveillance on the operation, measures of venues,  events, or activities to be in accordance with enhanced disease control and preventive measures. If the participants or people found that the events or activities do not follow the measures, the competent officials can be notified to warn and give advice before taking further legal action.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has issued the order allowing the operation of the following premises only during the New Year festivities under elevated preventive measures stipulated by the government. 

1. Outlets selling food and beverage only with open-air areas and good air ventilation systems are allowed to operate and provide alcoholic drinks during their regular opening time on 31 December 2021 until 01.00 a.m. of 1 January 2022.

2. For the venues for New Year festival events with large gatherings of people, the entrepreneurs, the organizers, or the persons in charge must follow the following screening measures:

2.1 For the events with the gathering of 300 to less than 1,000 people, the organizers or the persons in charge must obtain the permission from the district administration considering the preventive measures and the participant screening. The organizers or the persons in charge must strictly comply with the preventive measures. The participants must provide the evidence of complete vaccination.

2.2 For the events with the gathering of more than 1,000 people, the organizers or the persons in charge must obtain the permission from the district administration considering the preventive measures and the participant screening. The organizers or the persons in charge must strictly comply with the preventive measures. The participants must provide the evidence of complete vaccination with the negative result of the COVID-19 test in the period of 72 hours before participating in the activities by testing kit and reagent related to the diagnosis of SAR-CoV-2 (COVID-19 pathogen) and antigen test kit  (ATK test kit).   

3. For other venues and activities where the risk of COVID-19 spreading is present, the entrepreneurs or the persons in charge must strictly comply with the elevated preventive measures.   

4. In other cases, the entrepreneurs or the persons in charge must follow the Announcement of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) on Order of Temporary Closure (No. 47) dated 29 November 2021, https://www.prbangkok.com/th/covid/detail/19/7321

4. Improvement on the measures to screen the immigrating travellers 

In screening people entering the country in accordance with the current situation and the policy of opening the country, the provisions of the Regulation No. 12 dated 30 June 2020, as amended by Clause 3 of the Regulation No. 37 dated 31 July 2020, Clause 1 of the Regulation No. 26, dated 29 June 2021, and Clause 7 of the Regulation No. 36 dated 21 October 2021, have been canceled. 

The types of travellers entering the country shall be categorized as follows:

1) Persons who are permitted to enter the country for economic benefits along with the security of public health according to the plan of opening the country of the government

2) Persons who are permitted to enter the country in an area designated as a pilot tourism area for the benefits of economy, tourism, or other activities in accordance with the government policies.

3) Persons with exemptions that the Prime Minister or the chief responsible for resolving the emergency decide, permit or invite to enter the country as necessary or a person in a foreign government agency or international agencies working in the Kingdom as well as spouses, parents or children of such persons as permitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as necessary.

4) Freight forwarders as necessary that when the mission is completed, they have to leave the country without delay.

5) Vehicle operators or vehicle personnel who are required to enter on a mission and have a clear time to leave the country.

6) Travellers entering the country under disease control and preventive measures in quarantine facilities prescribed by the government.

Due to the increasing spread of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in many countries worldwide, to prevent the severe spread in Thailand, the Prime Minister has ordered the reinforcement of the measures of the entry of foreign nationals effective from 22 December 2021 onward until further announcement:

1. Thailand Pass new registration is suspended for the following traveller types: (1) travellers permitted to enter Thailand for economic benefits along with the security of public health according to the plan of opening the country of the government; and (2) travellers permitted to enter Thailand in an area designated as a pilot tourism area for the benefits of economy, tourism, or other activities in accordance with the government policies. This suspension is effective at least for 14 days from 22 December 2021 to 4 January 2022 or until further order of modification. However, this suspension is not applied to the travellers’ type (2) who are still allowed to enter Thailand with Phuket Sandbox programme. 

2. According to the provisions of the Regulation No. 19 dated 14 December 2021, the disease preventive measures for the entry of foreign nationals are readjusted only on the subject of the proof of payment of accommodation or government-designated quarantine facilities and the second COVID-19 tests in Thailand. The travellers must strictly comply with other disease preventive measures according to previous announcements.

2.1 Travellers of types (1) and (2) who have already registered, are permitted, and have already entered Thailand before 24 December 2021 must comply with the disease preventive measures for the entry of foreign nationals according to the order no. 24/2564 of Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration on the Guidelines No. 19 issued on 14 December 2021, http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2564/E/307/T_0067.PDF (TH Version)

2.2 Travellers of types (1) and (2) who have already registered, are permitted, and have already entered Thailand from 24 December 2021 onwards must comply with the following disease preventive measures:

2.2.1 Travellers of type (1) must undergo their second COVID-19 test using RT-PCR technique from authorized public or private health organizations on day 5 or 6 of their stay in the country, or whenever the respiratory symptoms are present with no additional cost for the travellers, subject to the government criteria or guidelines.

2.2.2 Travellers of type (2) must provide the required documents for entering Thailand, and must undergo COVID-19 test using RT-PCR technique two times, under the following conditions: 

  • Travellers must have the proof of the payment for accommodations or government-designated quarantine facilities for at least 7 days, and the proof of the payment for a COVID-19 RT-PCR test. The accommodation must be registered following the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Tourism Authority of Thailand regulations. The quarantine facilities must be registered following the regulations of Ministry of Public Health, or Provincial Communicable Disease Committee. These measures are also applied to travellers who have accommodation in pilot tourism areas. 
  • Hotels, accommodation, or quarantine facilities must coordinate with public or private health establishments to operate the second COVID-19 test using RT-PCR technique on day 5 or 6 of stay in the pilot tourism areas, or whenever the respiratory symptoms are present with no additional cost for the travellers, subject to the government criteria and guidelines.

2.3 Travellers of type (2) entering Thailand at Phuket with Phuket Sandbox programme who have registered from 22 December 2021 onwards, are permitted, and have already entered the country from 24 December 2021 onwards must provide required proof or documents allowing the entry and must undergo COVID-19 test using RT-PCR technique two times under the following criteria and conditions:

2.3.1 Travellers must have the proof of the payment for accommodations or government-designated quarantine facilities for at least 7 days, and the proof of the two payments for COVID-19 RT-PCR tests. The accommodation must be registered following the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Tourism Authority of Thailand regulations. The quarantine facilities must be registered following the regulations of Ministry of Public Health, or Provincial Communicable Disease Committee. These measures are also applied to travellers who have accommodation in pilot tourism areas.

2.3.2 Travellers must undergo the second COVID-19 test using RT-PCR technique on day 5 or 6 of stay in the pilot tourism areas, or whenever the respiratory symptoms are present, subject to the government criteria and guidelines.

3. Travellers of type (3) (4) (5) (6) of the clause 1 in the order no. 24/2564 of Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration on the Guidelines No. 19 issued on 14 December 2021 must strictly comply with the previous announcements.

References

http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2564/E/307/T_0062.PDF  (TH Version)

http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2564/E/307/T_0066.PDF  (TH Version)

http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2564/E/307/T_0067.PDF  (TH Version)

http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2564/E/313/T_0024.PDF  (TH Version)

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=486161169538301 

https://www.facebook.com/thailandprd/posts/4912400358783339 

https://www.facebook.com/thailandprd/posts/4906066939416681 

https://www.prbangkok.com/en/news/detail/19/8217 

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3164944743785596

https://www.facebook.com/thailandprd/posts/4941505795872795

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Further information about COVID-19 outbreak from WHO

https://www.who.int/thailand/emergencies/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

Department of Disease Control Contact Centre (Call 1422 24/7)

https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/index.php

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) (Call +66 (0) 2694 6000)

https://www.businesseventsthailand.com/en/situation-update-coronavirus-covid-19 หรือ info@tceb.or.th