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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Phuket Sandbox

Starting from 1 October, 2021, fully vaccinated visitors under the “Sandbox” programme to Phuket are welcome to stay within the destination for seven nights, and afterwards will be able to continue their journey to other parts of Thailand.


Preparing to Travel

Kindly note that in order to be eligible to enter in Thailand under the ‘Sandbox’ programme, fully vaccinated international travellers still need to have all of their advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry.

These include:

  • A passport with at least 6 months validity.
  •  A certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health or the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before their travel date. Travellers who have recovered from COVID-19 also need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.
  • A confirmed return flight ticket. (Currently, Cathay Pacific, Condor Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, HK Express, Jetstar Asia, Qatar Airways, Scoot Tiger Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways International are operating direct international flights to Phuket. Transit/transfer flights from Bangkok are also available. Please check flight schedules on the respective airlines’ websites or agencies.)
  • Payment confirmation for no less than seven nights stay at SHA Plus-certified hotel/s.
  • Payment confirmation for the RT-PCR COVID-19 tests that cover the whole duration of stay in Thailand via www.thailandpsas.com.
  • Copy of an insurance policy in English covering healthcare and treatment expenses for COVID-19 per applicant for the whole duration in Thailand with coverage clearly identified as no less than US$100,000. (TAT recommends that travellers make sure to check the small print of any COVID-19 insurance policy before purchasing. Ultimately, the policy should cover the cost of treatment and other medical expenses associated with being infected with COVID-19, including in-patient hospitalisation. The policy should also cover the whole duration that travellers are planning to stay in Thailand.)

Providing that you meet all the above points, you can go to https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/ to apply for a Certificate of Entry (COE). Interested vaccinated foreign tourists are recommended to enquire at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home country for more details.

Day of Travel

Bring along the printed documentation – which must be in English – that was required for the COE, along with a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling, when undergoing the exit screening before departure. Travellers may need to be able to present all the required documentation upon request during the flight check-in.

Travellers under 18 years of age, travelling with their parents or guardians, must have a negative RT-PCR test result (COVID-19 not detected) issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.

Please note that failing to comply with your respective airline’s guidelines can result in denied boarding.


Entry Screening

Travellers on direct international flights to Phuket International Airport are subject to health screening, including a COVID-19 nasal swab RT-PCR testing and Immigration procedures at the point of entry. Children under 6 years of age will receive a COVID-19 saliva RT-PCR testing.

Travellers on transit/transfer flights from Bangkok are subject to health and Immigration procedures at the first point of entry into Thailand, and undergo the steps as required at Phuket International Airport.

Day 0-1

Travellers must download and install an alert application, as well as set the application on at all times for the whole duration in Thailand.

Then, proceed directly to the reserved SHA Plus hotel on the approved airport transfer service.

Wait for the result of the first RT-PCR COVID-19 test in the hotel room only.

  • If testing negative for COVID-19, travellers can go anywhere in Phuket.
  • If testing positive for COVID-19, travellers will be referred to a healthcare facility for medical treatment, for which the expenses must be covered by the required insurance.

During the Stay

Day 1-7

Travellers are welcome to visit Phuket only and can stay less than seven nights. However, they must leave Phuket immediately on an international flight to another country.

Travellers who intended to stay more than seven nights must undergo the secondRT-PCR COVID-19 test on Day 6-7. After receiving a negative test result on Day 7, travellers can obtain a ‘Release Form’ and from Day 8 continue their journey to other destinations in Thailand.

During the seven-night period, while travellers can go anywhere in Phuket, they shall not stay overnight in any other places than the reserved SHA Plus hotel. In addition, they are required to report to the hotel’s SHA Plus Manager on a daily basis, or upon returning to the hotel from their outing and excursion.

While in Phuket, it is recommended that travellers use SHA Plus operators for tours and transportation and SHA Plus restaurants for dining although this is not compulsory. Renting a vehicle is possible, but again, it is recommended that travellers use a SHA Plus rental car service.

Phuket Cruise Excursions & Shore Trips

  • Phuket excursions by sea can be enjoyed by using SHA Plus boat and ferry services from the approved piers (Ao Po, Chalong, Rassada, and Wisit Panwa).
  • Phuket cruising and yachting excursions can be enjoyed by using SHA Plus cruise and yacht services from the approved piers (Yacht Haven Marina, Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket Boat Lagoon, Royal Phuket Marina, and Chalong Pier)

Health & Safety Precautions

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

While in Thailand, travellers are advised to continue with the D-M-H-T-T-A precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application. Masks must be worn at all times in public areas and in any vehicle with two or more people.

Kindly note that it is recommended that travellers use SHA Plus certified businesses and services for their added safety, as SHA Plus certification indicates hotels, restaurants, transportation providers, and tour services who meet the safety measures to control COVID-19, and also that at least 70% of their workforce has been fully vaccinated.

Tourist safety

The Royal Thai Government places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of every visitor to Thailand. As the main government agency responsible for the promotion and marketing of Thailand as a preferred destination, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is working closely with all the concerned public and private organisations to ensure the utmost efforts to prevent any unfortunate incidents occurring on tourists and the local Thai people.


International Departure

For travelling from Phuket to other countries, travellers are advised to follow the guidelines and measures announced by the respective country of their destination.

Domestic Departure

For travelling from Phuket to other Thai destinations, travellers are required to show proof that they have completed a seven-night stay in Phuket together with the negative results of their two COVID-19 RT-PCR tests along with other required documentation per the guidelines and measures announced by the respective destinations.

We wish all visitors an enjoyable, safe, and rewarding holiday in Thailand during this exciting time in which we are able again to welcome travellers from around the world.

Kindly note the information is subject to change without prior notice.

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