29 Jun 2021
Phuket will be the first destination in Thailand to fully reopen to overseas tourists according to the roadmap of Thailand to open up the whole country. From 1 July 2021, overseas travellers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 can travel to Phuket without the need to quarantine under the so-called “Phuket Sandbox” model where visitors will still need to follow the specific condition and procedures.
WHAT IS PHUKET SANDBOX’S ENTRY PROCEDURES?
You need to obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE), purchased travel insurance with COVID-19 cover, book the SHA PLUS hotel, submit negative PCR result no more than 72 hours before departure, download the alert application and must fly directly to Phuket International Airport.
WHAT IS THE CERTIFICATE OF ENTRY AND WHERE DO I GET IT?
The Certificate of Entry (COE) is a document that is required before flying to Thailand. Application can be made online here: https://coethailand.mfa.go.th.
WHY DOES THE CERTIFICATE OF ENTRY WEBSITE STILL SHOW THE NEED FOR 14 DAYS QUARANTINE?
The website should be updated soon to reflect the changes under the Phuket Tourism Sandbox scheme. This should happen soon after the announcement has been officially announced in the Royal Thai Government Gazette.
IS COVID-19 INSURANCE MANDATORY?
Yes. You need to have insurance for covid-19 that covers medical costs up to a minimum of USD 100,000 for the entire duration of your stay in Thailand. Search https://covid19.tgia.org/ for insurance policy options.
DO I NEED VISA?
If you are Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia passport holder, travelling to Thailand as a tourist and staying for less than 45 days, you do not require a visa. Instead, you can enter under the visa exemption scheme. If you wish to stay longer, you can apply for a Tourist Visa, which will allow you to stay for up to 60 days plus a one-time extension of 30 days if required.
WHAT PROOF OF COVID-19 VACCINE DO I NEED TO SHOW?
Currently, the approved vaccine list includes Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac. Visitors need to be fully vaccinated. Vaccination shots need to have been given at least 14 days before boarding your flight to Thailand and no longer than one year before.
I’M TRAVELLING WITH MY FAMILY. DO MY CHILDREN NEED TO BE VACCINATED?
Children who are under 6 years old do not need to be vaccinated if they are travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians. Unvaccinated children aged 0 to 18 years old who are travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival. The test needs to be paid for.
IF I’VE NOT BEEN VACCINATED OR ONLY RECEIVED ONE DOSE OF VACCINE, CAN I STILL TRAVEL TO THAILAND?
You can, but you will need to follow the current entry procedures and enter quarantine on arrival. You can only visit without quarantine if you have been fully vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine (or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
DO I NEED TO HAVE A COVID TEST BEFORE DEPARTING FOR THAILAND?
International travellers must present a medical certificate with a RT-PCR laboratory result showing that Covid-19 is not detected. The test result needs to be issued within 72 hours of departure and the time and date show on the certificate.
HOW CAN I FLY DIRECTLY TO PHUKET?
Major airlines announce operations of direct flights from many destinations in Europe to Phuket starting in July 2021.
CAN I FLY TO PHUKET VIA BANGKOK?
In time yes, but not initially. Thai authorities are still sorting out the arrangements at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. **waiting for confirmation on this**
DO I NEED TO SHOW A CONFIRMED HOTEL BOOKING?
Yes. You will need to pre-book an accommodation which has been awarded SHA Plus status.
WHAT IS SHA AND SHA PLUS?
SHA is an abbreviation of Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA). To be awarded SHA status, business must meet strict safety protocols. The SHA Plus certificate is only granted to business that meet all the safety protocols plus at least 70% of their staff have been vaccinated against Covid-19. A list of SHA and SHA Plus business operators in Phuket can be found at www.thailandsha.com .
DO I HAVE TO STAY AT THE SAME HOTEL OR CAN I USE DIFFERENT ONES?
You will be required to pre-book SHA Plus accommodation and submit the booking confirmation when registering for COE. For the first 7 nights, you must stay at the same hotel. After that, you can stay at different hotels. However, all accommodation you book must be at SHA Plus certificate venues. The hotel/accommodation owner are legally required to report the names of all guests to the Phuket provincial authority on a daily basis.
ARE THERE ANY COVID TESTS ON ARRIVAL?
International passengers are subject to Covid-19 screening including RT-PCR tests upon arrival. Once you have cleared arrivals, you will be required to travel directly to your pre-booked SHA Plus-certified accommodation and await test results. These should be available within a matter of hours. If you tests negative for Covid-19, you can then travel anywhere in Phuket.
WHAT ARE THE TEST AND TRACE PROCEDURES?
You will need to download the alert application as part of the Covid safety protocols. The app must be kept on as you move to different locations around Phuket.
DO I STILL HAVE A COVID TEST DURING MY STAY?
All visitors will be required to undergo and pay for testing on day 6/7 and possible day 12/13 depending on their length of stay. RT-PCR test can be done at several SWAP-test centres set up in different touristic areas or in the hospitals. The price ranges from around 2,800-3,500 Baht. **waiting for confirmation on this**
WHAT HAPPENS IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID DURING MY TIME IN PHUKET?
Anybody who tests positive will be taken to hospital. Even if you are not showing symptoms of COVID-19, you will be required to go to the hospital and the cost will be covered by your insurance policy.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO STAY IN PHUKET?
If you would like to visit other areas of Thailand, you need to stay in Phuket for a minimum of 14 days. However, if you only intend to stay in Phuket shorter, there is no minimum stay required. For example, you can stay for a week or 10 days and then fly home from Phuket.
WHY DO I HAVE TO STAY FOR 14 DAYS IF I’VE ALREADY BEEN FULLY VACCINATED?
Thailand’s vaccination rollout has been slower than many EU countries. Only a relatively small percentage of Thailand’s population have so far been vaccinated. However, Phuket has inoculated over 75% of the island’s population to be ready for welcoming foreign visitors.
WILL I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK?
Since the early days of COVID-19, Thai people were encouraged to wear the masks. The overwhelming majority have done so without any fuss. In the first half of 2021, Thai government made it compulsory to wear masks in public. Although the regulations may be relaxed in July, especially in Phuket, all visitors are kindly asked to observe local rules. Although it is unlikely you will be required to wear a mask on the beach if you are adhering to social distancing, you are requested to observe any local rules that may be in place which include wearing a mask in taxis and minibuses. Please also observe any signs that ask you to scan your temperature and wear masks inside shops or malls.
I OWN A PROPERTY IN PHUKET. CAN I STAY AT MY HOUSE OR CONDO INSTEAD OF A SHA PLUS HOTEL?
All international arrivals must book a stay at SHA Plus accommodation. Staying in a private residence is not allowed. The only exception is if the residence or condominium has been issued with a SHA Plus certificate.
AM I FREE TO TRAVEL AROUND PHUKET INDEPENDENTLY?
Yes. The only exception may possibly be initial arrival and transfer to your hotel from the airport which is required to take SHA Plus. During your stay in Phuket, you will need to keep the alert application activated on your smartphone.
CAN I TRAVEL TO OTHER ISLAND?
You can visit islands in Phuket province, only including Ko Racha, Ko He, Ko Maprao, etc. at any time during your stay. But Phi Phi is in Krabi province and James Bond Island is in Phang Nga province. For any island trips, it is recommended to book excursions with SHA Plus-certified companies.
WHEN CAN I TRAVEL TO OTHER AREAS OF THAILAND AND DO I NEED ANY EXTRA DOCUMENT?
You need to stay in Phuket for a minimum 14 nights. After that, you are free to travel within Thailand e.g. by road to Phang Nga or Krabi, or fly to Bangkok, Chiang Mai etc. Wherever you travel, keep your passport with you together with your vaccine certificate and a negative for COVID-19 PCR test result.
*Special thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand Office in Prague for providing the FAQ information. For more news and updates on Phuket Sandbox, please visit tatnews.org or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**For information about document requirement before entry into Thailand, please refer to this link https://warsaw.thaiembassy.org/en/page/phuket-sandbox