The Tourist Authority of Thailand has set out its complete guidelines for the Phuket Sandbox reopening on July 1st and the proposed Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan reopening on July 15th.
The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently confirmed it will open Phuket for vaccinated tourists on the 1st of July. However, until now, they haven’t confirmed the entry requirements for the Phuket Sandbox scheme.
The Full Entry Requirements
All visitors must obtain a Certificate of Entry at entrythailand.go.th and all visitors must meet the following criteria.
All travelers must come from a medium to a low-risk country regardless of having a vaccine. The Tourist Authority of Thailand claimed that only visitors from medium to low-risk countries could enter Phuket last month, but they didn’t confirm which nations were on the medium to the low-risk list until now.
Low Risk Countries
Here are some of the countries on the low-risk list that can enter Phuket if they have a vaccine certificate :
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
Medium Risk Countries
Here are some of the countries on the medium-risk list, who can currently enter Phuket if they are fully vaccinated, but this can change if the situation in these countries worsens in the coming months.
- United Kingdom
- United States
High Risk Countries
However, there are numerous countries on the high-risk list, who will be banned from entering Phuket and the rest of Thailand in July even if they are fully vaccinated. Some of these countries include Argentina, Costa Rica, India, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Philippines, and South Africa.
Furthermore, all travelers must have been in those medium to low-risk countries for 3 weeks and this applies to both foreigners and Thai citizens. You can see the full list of the low, medium, and high-risk countries here. The government will update this as time goes on, so keep a close eye on it.
All visitors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least two weeks before the date of travel to Thailand. In addition, they must carry a vaccine certificate as confirmation and the vaccines must be on the WHO list of approved vaccinations.
These vaccines include:
- Johnson & Johnson
Travelers will also need a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure and COVID-19 health insurance with a minimum coverage of $100,000. Upon arrival, travelers will have another PCR test and will need to install a mobile app on their phones.
You’ll then proceed to your hotel, where you’ll await your PCR test results. The Phuket accommodation must be an SHA-plus certified accommodation, but once the PCR test is negative – travelers can freely move around the island.
If travelers want to move around Thailand after they’ve stayed in Phuket, they must wait 14 days before moving out of the Phuket province. Travelers will also need to show proof that the 14-day arrival stay is complete in Phuket.
Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao Reopening
There is an ongoing proposal to reopen the Surat Thani Province from July 15th. This province includes popular tourist islands, such as Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan. The proposal – which isn’t fully approved yet – will mean travelers can enter Thailand via Koh Samui from July 15th.
The entry requirements will be the same as the Phuket Sandbox scheme, with the following restrictions after arrival:
- Day 1-3: Travelers can only stay within their accommodation
- Day 4-7: Travelers can travel on sealed routes within Koh Samui
- Day 8-14: Travelers can freely travel around Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan
- Day 14+: Travelers can travel all around Thailand
The COVID-19 Situation In Phuket
The Thai government is racing to vaccinate 70% of its Phuket population by July 1st to make the Phuket sandbox scheme a success. A staggering 95% of Phuket’s economy is based on tourism and the pandemic has destroyed the island’s economy.
The Thai Prime Minister has claimed he wants to fully reopen the country to international travelers within 4 months because the current economic hardship means the nation needs to take a calculated risk going forward.
Thailand has had low cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. However, cases have risen in recent months, forcing many areas of Thailand – including Bangkok – into partial lockdowns. Since the pandemic began, Thailand has had 218,131 cases of COVID-19 with 1,629 deaths.
Thailand is now racing against time to vaccinate Phuket and implement the sandbox scheme which should help some of the struggling businesses on the island. It’s also the first step to Thailand’s reopening before the end of the year.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories