The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has confirmed Thailand’s readiness to reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine requirements, starting with the “Phuket Sandbox” model from 1 July.
The plan was approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on 18 June 2021 and will be submitted for final approval from the Cabinet.
Edit: the plan was approved by the Cabinet on 22 June.
Reopening guidelines for Phuket
- Foreign travelers coming from Low or medium Risk Countries will be allowed to enter without Quarantine. The List of the Low-risk countries to be published by the Ministry of Public health and will be updated frequently. They must also have already stayed in the said countries/regions no less than 21 days before the travel date.
Note: The list from the Ministry of Public Health is based on information from the WHO. Since the explanation about this list is in Thai language, there has been much confusion about the meaning of the color coding used in this list. I advise you to ask at the Thai Embassy or Consulate in your country.
- Travelers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine registered with the Thai FDA or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before the travel date, and must have a vaccine certificate to verify their vaccination.
A list of WHO-approved vaccines can be found here.
Thai FDA approved vaccines per 18 June:
Johnson & Johnson
- Children under 6 years of age are allowed when traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
- Unvaccinated children between 6 years old and 18 years old will require a COVID test upon arrival in Thailand.
- Travelers who have a history of COVID-19 infection must also be fully vaccinated no less than 14 days before the travel date.
- All Travelers must have a Result of Negative RT PCR Test conducted within 72 Hours before their Departure from the Destination of Origin.
- Travelers must have a COVID-19 health insurance policy (for the entire duration of their stay) with a minimum coverage of US$100,000.
- Travelers who are qualified and have the required documents are advised to submit an application for a Certificate of Entry (COE) via www.entrythailand.go.th.
All arrivals are required to stay in resorts or hotels that have Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus certification. SHA is an indication that the hotel follows Thailand’s Safety and Health Association regulations. The ‘Plus’ designation indicates that at least 70% of the hotel’s staff have been vaccinated. A list of SHA+ certified hotels can be found here.
Note: The vaccination campaign is an ongoing process so, some hotels are certified but not listed (yet). If you can not find your favorite hotel on this list, it is best to inquire with them directly about their SHA+ certification.
Flights to Phuket
Several airlines including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates, have announced to fly to Phuket at least once a week from July 1, according to information shared with major tour operators by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Flight schedules are also subject to change so it is best to check with your airline directly.
Upon arrival at the airport, guests will have to undergo the standards customs and immigration procedures and get tested for COVID 19 (RT PCR TEST). Transfer from the airport to the hotel is arranged by the SHA+ hotel.
The result of the test will be generated within 12 hours after conducting the test. Guests need to stay in their room to await the test results.
If the test result is negative, then the guest can enjoy his stay in Phuket and move freely around the island. If the test result is positive, the guest will be transferred to the hospital.
In case of staying 14 nights or longer, a second and third test will be required on day 6 and day 12, however, guests do not need to stay in their room to await the test results.
Guests are required to download and install the ThailandPlus application on their phone.
Traveling to other Thai destinations
For travelers who wish to visit Phuket only, no minimum stay is required. Return flights must leave directly from Phuket airport.
Travelers who wish to continue their journey to other Thai destinations are required to show proof that they have completed a 14-night in Phuket. Other required documents may be required, depending on the respective province of destination.
The start of “Phuket Sandbox” does not mean that it is not possible to enter Thailand through other airports, like Bangkok. However, traveling into Thailand outside the “Sandbox” scheme, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless to the country of origin or vaccination status.
Plans to reopen other parts of Thailand are already under consideration.
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