In addition to doing away with the Test & Go tourist-entry scheme, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Friday ended coronavirus-control “orange” zones, allowing the resumption of alcohol sales in restaurants nationwide.
Thailand continues to report 40,000 or more new Covid-19 cases a day, through both RT-PCR and antigen tests, which, last year, would have seen the entire country coded red and locked down. But the combination of high vaccination rates and the relatively less-severe nature of the coronavirus omicron variant has made high infection rates less of a concern.
The Public Health Ministry on Saturday reported 39,982 new cases – 19,936 through antigen tests – and 129 deaths. The test-positivity rate remains stratospheric at 26%.
Yet, as of May 1, there will be only “yellow” high-surveillance and “blue” tourism provinces. But it’s also notable there are no “green” surveillance zones.
Songkhla and Rayong provinces were added to tourism pilot zones, raising the total blue-zone provinces to 12, which include Bangkok, Krabi, Kanchanaburi, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phangnga, Phetchaburi and Phuket.
The CCSA also extended alcohol consumption hours at restaurants that meet SHA Plus and Covid-Free Setting standards to midnight in all zones starting from May 1.
Moreover, the Covid-19 taskforce reduced home isolation for at-risk people exposed to those infected from a week to five days with additional five days for observation and monitoring their health, starting next month.