Koh Samui’s airport officials welcomed the first international flight since the emergence of the omicron coronavirus variant – from Singapore – and Thai media flew into a frenzy.
Of the 54 passengers on the flight, none had traveled to the eight countries where significant numbers of omicron Covid-19 cases are being identified.
All passengers passed through a thermal scanner and presented evidence of full vaccination against Covid-19 as well as proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
Omicron on “no-micron”, it’s the same procedure everyone must go through.
Additionally, the passengers had to present their Thailand Pass at the airport disease control unit before being allowed to progress to immigration, the same as anyone everywhere.
All passengers landing in Samui on a direct international flight are swabbed for the on-arrival RT-PCR test and must stay within their hotel until a negative test result is issued. Again, the same as everyone arriving on the Test & Go scheme.
No one was freaking out over omicron, except the Thai reporters, who were desperate to link anything to the new variant.
Since December 1, entry into the Kingdom was denied for travelers from any of the eight countries in Africa deemed by the Ministry of Public Health to present high risks of the Omicron variant. Travelers departing from other countries will be contacted by officials who will follow up on their conditions for 14 days.
So far, RT-PCR re-testing for COVID-19 has been administered for nine out of 11 travelers from Africa who entered Samui on or after Nov. 15, with all results coming back negative.