To be clear, this is NOT a closure of the borders. It is just a suspension of the Test & Go and the Blue Zone Sandbox (except for Phuket Sandbox) schemes. Everything else will continue as normal.
First the good news, if you are one of 22,000 people who have already applied for a Thailand Pass for Test & Go, Sandbox and Alternative Quarantine, your application is still being processed. If your application is approved, you will be able to come under the original conditions. This means, for Test & Go people, you only need to wait for the results for the first test and then you are free to go. No 7-day quarantine like some media outlets were saying. But you will need to do a second RT-PCR test on Day 7. More on that in a moment.
The bad news is that if your application is rejected after midnight, then you are out of luck. You will need to enter via the Phuket Sandbox or hotel quarantine schemes.
Secondly, the Thailand Pass system is still open for Test & Go applications. So, be quick as you could make it before the midnight deadline. After that time, they will no longer take applications for Test & Go and for Sandbox areas outside of Phuket.
One very important piece of information that the Thai media got wrong is the cut-off date for arriving in Thailand. Basically, there isn’t one. Earlier, the media were saying you must arrive before 10th January if you didn’t want to do quarantine. That is not true. You can arrive on the date that was approved on your application. For example, if you said you are arriving on 25th January, then you still can use Test & Go and only wait one night for the test results.
Many people were asking that if they arrived under Test & Go tomorrow, do they have to do the second RT-PCR test on Day 7. The quick answer to that is no. This is because it is not law yet. The prime minister must first sign the papers and then it must be published in the Royal Gazette. So, if it was published in the gazette on Friday, then anyone arriving on Friday onwards, must do the second test on Day 7. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this will be free. More details on this soon.
So, does this mean there is no Test & Go in the future? No, that is not true as it is just temporarily suspended. In early January, they will re-evaluate the situation and there will be a new announcement.
If I have any further updates, I will post on my social media - Twitter and Facebook. Can I please ask you not to reply to this email with questions. I have already received two hundred emails today and I cannot keep up. Which is why I prefer to answer questions on social media where I can share the answers with everyone. Thanks for your understanding and good luck!