TAT confirms Phuket Sandbox rules

BANGKOK, 1 June 2021: It’s good news for international travellers hoping to resume their Thailand holiday plans;  the Tourism Authority of Thailand confirms Phuket will be the first destination to welcome visitors back.

Visa rules and test required to board flights to Phuket remain the same, but for the first time, vaccinated travellers can visit the island without a 14-day quarantine.

In an official letter emailed 27 May to international travel partners, TAT confirmed the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ project would go ahead as planned, 1 July 2021. The decision follows news that close to half of Phuket’s population has now been vaccinated against Covid-19. The target is to reach 70% by July.

Phuket opens to international visitors (nationals or residents from medium to low-risk countries) who have Covid-19 vaccination certificates valid a minimum of 14 days to one year before their arrival in Phuket. 

Visitors will be required to stay in Phuket for seven nights before they can visit other destinations in Thailand.  They will not have to comply with the 14-day quarantine rule that applies to non-vaccinated travellers. At the close of the seven-day stay, they must test negative for Covid-19 to allow them to visit other destinations. However, they can stay in Phuket for less than seven days and then return home, but they will need to have a PCR negative test result to board the flight.

Approved vaccines:
Pfizer; Moderna; Johnson & Johnson; AstraZeneca; Sinovac, Covishield. Others will be added to the list.

Unvaccinated children under 12 years old who are travelling with vaccinated parents do not need to present a vaccine certificate upon arrival.

Unvaccinated children 12 to 17 years old travelling with vaccinated parents will need to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival at Phuket International Airport at their own expense.

To board flights to Phuket, travellers must present a valid negative  PCR test result within  72 hours of boarding the flight. They will still need to apply for a visa, buy insurance valued at USD100,000 and obtain a certificate of entry from the nearest Thai embassy.

Only direct international flights to Phuket International Airport (HKT) are applicable to ‘Sandbox’ travellers. However, it’s possible to access Phuket via aviation gateways in the Middle East and Asia changing flights in Doha, Dubai, Singapore, Taipei, Istanbul, and Hong Kong. Thai Airways International says it will offer scheduled flights from Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Paris and London.

Travellers are required to download the Thailand Plus Mobile App that allows contact tracing in case of infection.

During the seven-day stay

Stays must be booked in accommodation that is certified by SHA (Amazing Thailand Safely & Health Administration).

At the close of the seven-day stay in Phuket, they must undergo a  PCR test before they are allowed to travel beyond Phuket.

It is possible to stay less than seven nights in Phuket and travel back to home countries or any other county direct without visiting other cities in Thailand. A PCR test 72 hours prior to departure will be needed. These are provisional details on the Phuket re-opening entry requirements with the TAT due to post the full and final requirements over the next few days, including a list of medium to low-risk nationalities eligible for the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ experiment.

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