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Tourism and Health Ministries to Propose Test & Go Resumption

Tourism and Health Ministries to Propose Test & Go Resumption

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry and the Public Health Ministry are set to propose for the resumption of the Test and Go Program by February 2022 to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Tourism minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn mentioned that the Ministry of Public Health can control the spread after data shows that the number of new cases has decreased each day and that the Kingdom has already passed its infection rate peak. This was also aligned with Thailand’s vaccination rate which is doing well.

Anutin Charnvirakul, the Public Health Minister, also added that they want to see a balance struck between disease control and rebooting the struggling economy.

Last December, the new application for the Test and Go Program was temporarily suspended due to the Omicron variant concerns. 

Sandbox Destinations Updates

Sandbox Destinations Updates

Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao

When Thailand temporarily suspended the Test and Go scheme, Ratchaporn Poonsawat, chairman of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, mentioned that the number of tourists visiting fell by up to 30%.

The chairman also mentioned that he talked with the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn noting that the number of tourist arrivals might not be met. Because of this, he has suggested the government reinstate the Test and Go in the third quarter of this year.

Krabi

A total of 84 hotels have agreed to offer 10% of their rooms for those tourists who have been infected with COVID-19, adding to about 3,000 hospital rooms and 2,000 alternative quarantine (AQ) rooms of the province.

Sasithorn Kittidhrakul, president of the Krabi Tourism Association, mentioned that many tourists are still asking many questions regarding the rules and restrictions after the suspension. She noted that it’s due to a lack of communication with a case in Phuket where there had been a misunderstanding in terms of the process.

Phang-Nga

200-300 visitors who spend an average of 5,000 baht are arriving in Phang-Nga daily. Before the pandemic, 80% of visitors to the province were from overseas, mostly from the UK, Germany and Scandinavian countries and 20% were Thais. After Covid-19, the numbers were reversed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

I plan to go to Thailand. How is the situation there?

It is not only in Thailand, but the whole world went to a pause. However, it is not as strict as before wherein the borders were closed and the curfew was enacted. Because of the restrictions, some destinations have fewer tourists and are not as busy as pre-pandemic days. Thailand welcomes tourists from around the world. You may enter Thailand under the Bangkok Quarantine or Phuket Sandbox programs.

How do I transfer from the airport to my hotel?

Your hotel booking package should include the transfer as it’s the government’s way to trace the tourist’s quarantine. However, there are also transfer services when you arrive at the airport.

Can I extend my insurance?

You can contact your insurance for this. However, some insurance companies don’t offer extensions or applications for those who are already in Thailand. It’s better to directly contact your insurance provider for this matter.

What kind of insurance is allowed in the Thailand Pass application?

Any insurance that covers the expenses when you contract COVID-19 is allowed. However, based on experience AXA Sawasdee Thailand is the most popular option. Please visit: www.siam-legal.com/axa-insurance for more information.

Thai Insurance Firms to Launch COVID Packages for Tourists with Mild Symptoms

Thai Insurance Firms to Launch COVID Packages for Tourists with Mild Symptoms

Foreign tourists will now have a chance to apply for Thai health insurance after the Department of Health Services Support (DHSS) mentioned that Thai insurance companies will be allowed over packages to cover COVID-19 treatment for foreign tourists and expand hotel isolation for patients with mild symptoms.

One key problem among foreign tourists is that the health insurance that they bought does not cover the expenses when they are infected with COVID-19 and show mild symptoms, as explained by DHSS director-general Tares Krassanairawiwong.

“This will help foreign tourists to make faster claims for treatment expenses. It normally takes 7-10 days to claim expenses with some foreign health insurance companies,” he added.

This is also a part of the government’s move to attract more tourists. Recently, hotels were also given a green light to have “hospitels” or hotel isolation rooms.

“Treatment expenses under the hotel isolation scheme will remain at 1,000 baht per person in line with National Health Security Office regulations,” Tares added.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of Vaccine Certificate is required for the Thailand Pass?

Vaccine certificates are accepted as long as it is accepted by the World Health Organization and/or the Thai government can verify them. The vaccination document must be in Thai or English language.

Do restaurants and destinations in Thailand require a vaccine certificate or a COVID test?

Not necessarily but because of the recent pandemic situation, some establishments might require you to bring them with you as part of their health measures.

I just finished my quarantine under Sandbox. Will the hotel give me anything as proof that I’ve finished it?

The hotel shall give you a “Quarantine or Sandbox Release Form” as well as the negative result of your second RT PCR test. You may contact your hotel for more details.

I didn’t receive any confirmation after applying for Thailand Pass. What should I do?

Please check your spam folder or make sure that you have correctly spelled the email address. Additionally, there had been reports that people using some emails like Hotmail weren’t receiving confirmation. This, however, hasn’t been confirmed if it’s a problem with the Thailand Pass application. Many people suggest using Gmail.

I cannot pay for my RT-PCR test online. What should I do?

If your payment keeps on failing, try to use a different card. Also, try to use a debit card if you first tried a credit card or vice versa. Another option, you may ask your Sandbox hotel to book it for you since the system may reject some credit cards from US and Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between SHA Plus (SHA+) and SHA Extra Plus (SHA++)?

  • SHA Plus (SHA+) hotels not only meet the usual SHA certification criteria but also at least 70% of hotel or business staff have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • SHA Extra Plus (SHA++) hotels are those that not only meet the Amazing Thailand SHA Plus standard but also provide an accommodation service in partnership with certified hospitals for the RT-PCR test.

I registered twice for the Thailand Pass due to circumstances. The first one got approved while the second didn’t. Can I use the first application?

Yes, you can use the Thailand Pass that has been approved. The rejected application will not cause any problem. If you have been approved for two Thailand Passes, you may use either of the two passes.

I’ll travel to Thailand with my approved Test & Go Pass. Do I still need a 2nd RT-PCR Test?

Yes. All new arrivals will now be required to take a second RT PCR test.

I have just finished my quarantine. Do I need to take the RT-PCR test when traveling to different provinces?

You don’t have to take RT-PCR whenever you travel around Thailand. However, please take extra precautions as the Kingdom is still in a pandemic. The government asks the people not to go for unnecessary travel. If you do, private vehicles are advisable.

Can I have multiple hotels for my Sandbox stay?

No, you can only stay in one Sandbox hotel for the first 7 nights. It must be the same hotel for the whole duration of your sandbox stay. You may stay in another hotel or in a non-SHA+ hotel after you have completed the 7 nights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What must the hotel package include? How do I make sure that I will also get the COVID-testing and transport to the hotel in the package?

Many hotels offer a package that includes the hotel stay, transport, and COVID-19 testing. Just be careful and ask for complete information from the hotel. There was a report of some travelers arriving at the airport just to realize that they only paid for a hotel reservation without the transport and COVID-19 testing so they had to avail again when they arrived.

I will only do transit in Thailand. Do I need to register for a Thailand Pass?

No, the Thailand Pass is not required for international transit passengers. You are only required to have COVID insurance, negative COVID 19 RT PCR test result, and make sure that your connecting flight does not require you to pass through immigration and customs.

What is the earliest date that I can apply for a Thailand Pass?

You can book a flight 90 days prior to the date of your arrival. Your Thailand Pass can be used within 90 days but changing of flight can only be not later than 72 hours of your original flight date.

I cannot upload my PDF file onto the Thailand Pass application. What should I do?

You can convert your PDF file to JPG or photo file. There are free websites that can help you or you can just take a screenshot of the PDF file from your phone or computer.

I want to cancel my Thailand Pass, do I need to contact anyone?

Not necessarily. You can just re-apply when you’re ready to fly to Thailand.

Covid Hotlines to Assist Phuket Travelers

Covid Hotlines to Assist Phuket Travelers

To ensure that COVID-positive travelers in Phuket will be assisted better, Phuket officials have launched a “Phuket Tourist COVID Call Center”.

Travelers can contact the call center at 076-254200 ext 88 from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Operators can provide support in Thai and English.

The call center can answer queries regarding quarantine, SHA+ hotel coordination, locations on getting RT-PCR tests, and more.

The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) has also launched a 24-hour “Phuket COVID-19 hotline” at 094-5938876 in Thai language. They can also answer queries through their Facebook page.

Weekly Updates

Phuket Sandbox
Phuket Sandbox and COVID Test FAQs

Phuket Sandbox and COVID Test FAQs

January 6, 2022
Traveling to Thailand during the pandemic gives more questions to all international travelers. Such includes the COVID-testing. Here are some of the questions that we received and collected:

Who gets the “free” second COVID testing?

Travelers approved before the Thailand Pass suspension and who arrive in the Kingdom from December 24 onwards must do a second RT-PCR test, shouldered by the government, on the 5th or 6th day at a government-approved medical facility.

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) mentioned in the December 24 briefing that travelers will have to fill in a port health letter upon arrival at the airport, which will be signed by a border control officer and certified by the Department of Disease Control. The border control officer will then provide you with a copy and a QR code, stating the venue for your second RT-PCR COVID-19 test at no additional cost.

You will present the port health letter to your hotel, which will key your records onto the COVID-19 Surveillance Tracking and Evaluation platform, and arrange for your first COVID-19 test. On day 5 or 6, go to your designated laboratory center for your second RT-PCR COVID-19.

I already have a COVID test appointment for Phuket Sandbox, do I need to register again?

It depends on your COVID test provider. You can contact the hotel or the laboratory that you registered prior.

For those who are coming to Phuket who had already registered through www.thailandpsas.com for a single swab test before the announcement of the new guidelines, you can still add a second swab test by logging in to the account you used for registration:

  1. Choose your booking details and click the "Edit" icon.
  2. Click "Additional Swab Appointment".
  3. Pay the fee

Can I travel to other places in Thailand even if only the Phuket Sandbox is available?

You need to complete a 7-night stay in Phuket before being allowed to travel to other areas of Thailand. Once you receive your first negative test result in Phuket, you are able to travel freely around Thailand’s largest island. After you receive your second negative test result and have completed a 7-night stay in Phuket, you are able to travel to any other area of Thailand.

With the suspension, are there changes to the number of quarantine days?

Seven (7) days quarantine applies to travelers who have a certificate of vaccination to confirm that they have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine for at least 14 days before traveling to Thailand. 10 days quarantine applies to travelers who do not have a certificate of vaccination. 14 days quarantine applies to travelers from African countries other than the previously designated high-risk countries, which are constantly being reviewed.

Can we change our flight schedule?

Flight changes are permitted within 72 hours from the original flight time registered in the Thailand Pass without the need to apply for a new Thailand Pass QR Code, provided that all other required documents remain valid or updated.

Book COVID Test for Phuket Sandbox

How to Book COVID Test for Phuket Sandbox

January 4, 2022

Starting December 23, 2021, Thailand will now require two RT-PCR tests for those entering Phuket.

The first test will be conducted at Phuket International Airport while the second test on the 5th day will be conducted at the test centers around Phuket.

The steps for the RT-PCR test via www.thailandpsas.com are as follows:
  1. Provide flight details and hotel information. You will be asked for your flight and accommodation details.
  2. Input your personal information like your gender, date of birth, country of origin, and Passport Number.
  3. Choose your swab test locations. Because the first swab test will be conducted at the Phuket International Airport, you can only choose the location for the second swab test. The swab test date will be automatically shown from the details you input in Step 1.
  4. Pay the fee. The fee for the RT PCR tests is 4200 THB.

Note: For those who have already registered for a single swab test before the announcement of the new guidelines, you can still add a second swab test by logging in to the account you used for registration:

  1. Choose your booking details and click the “Edit” icon.
  2. Click “Additional Swab Appointment”.
  3. Pay the fee.
New Entry Requirements for October 1

New Entry Requirements for October 1

September 28, 2021
On September 27, the CCSA agreed to reduce the quarantine period for vaccinated international travelers to 7 days from 1 October. Those who have not been vaccinated will quarantine for 10-14 days.
  • Group 1: Vaccinated travelers from countries not eligible for the Sandbox program need to do a 7 days quarantine.
  • Group 2: Vaccinated travelers from all countries arriving in Bangkok will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of 7 days.
  • Group 3: Not vaccinated travelers arriving by air/sea must undergo mandatory quarantine for 10 days.
  • Group 4: Not vaccinated travelers arriving by land must undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
Travelers who are eligible for the Phuket or Samui Plus Sandbox programs will not be affected by these new entry requirements.

New Eligible Countries for Sandbox Program

September 28, 2021
The list of countries and territories from where travelers may enter Thailand’s Sandbox program has been updated from 70 to 78.

New Eligible Countries for Thailand Sandbox
Andamantra Resort and Villa Phuket

Phuket Sandbox Hotel of the Week

September 22, 2021
With hundreds of hotels and resorts to choose from, we feature one of the best SHA+ Hotels in Phuket for your Phuket Sandbox stay. Andamantra Resort & Villa is the 5-star resort located at the prime area of the famous North Patong and Kalim beach. The resort faces the west side of the Andaman sea, commands panoramic seaview from its elevated hillside location. Guests may enjoy stunning sunset views from their balconies and most areas of the resort. It features a spa, fitness center and 3 outdoor pools. The resort is a 15-minute walk to Patong Beach and a 15-minute drive to Jungceylon Shopping Centre and Bangla Road. To book this hotel, please check: https://www.agoda.com/andamantra-resort-and-villa-phuket/hotel/phuket-th.html

Domestic Air Travel: Thai Airways

August 27, 2021
Thai Airways International (THAI) has announced an update on its domestic, regional, and international flights from August to October 2021, including dedicated Phuket Sandbox services.

Thai Airways Domestic Flights Aug-Oct 2021
Countries Eligible for Phuket and Samui Plus Sandbox

List of Countries Eligible for Phuket and Samui Plus Sandbox

August 27, 2021
On August 20th, the Ministry of health and the Tourism Authority of Thailand has published the latest list of countries eligible for the Phuket Sandbox, Samui Plus Sandbox, and Phuket Sandbox 7 + 7 Extension as follows:

Bangkok Airways

Domestic Air Travel: Bangkok Airways

August 27, 2021
Starting from 25 August 2021, Bangkok Airways will resume its direct flights between Samui and Phuket in support of the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus programs that were launched on 1 July and 15 July 2021, respectively signaling the beginning of Thailand’s reopening to tourism. The resumed services will be operated by ATR 72-600 aircraft starting with 3 flights per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Flight PG253 will depart Samui at 11.25 Hrs. and arrive at Phuket at 12.25 Hrs, with the return service Flight PG254 departing Phuket at 13.00 Hrs. and arriving at Samui at 14.00 Hrs.
Domestic Travel: Thai Smile

Domestic Travel: Thai Smile

August 27, 2021
Thai Smile Airways will operate a special charter flight from Phuket to Bangkok effective on August 26, 2021. The flight WE 8784 will depart Phuket at 14:30 hours and will arrive at Bangkok at 1600 hours. They will temporarily suspend the flight operations until August 31, 2021 and will resume on September 1, 2021.
Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension Program

Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension Program

August 20, 2021
Starting from 16 August 2021, the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” program allows eligible international travelers to reduce the mandatory stay in Phuket from 14 to 7 days, after which another 7 nights can be spent in the provinces of Krabi, Phang Nga, and Surat Thani. Travelers planning to spend another 7 nights outside of Phuket must obtain a ‘Transfer Form’ issued by their hotel in Phuket indicating that they have stayed in Phuket for 7 nights, which they will need to show together with the negative results of their two COVID-19 tests.
Sandbox Express Bus

Sandbox Express Bus

August 13, 2021
This bus travel from Phuket to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is arranged only for international travelers under the Phuket Sandbox program and their family members. Available from 4-16 August 2021, every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, the bus leaves Central Festival Phuket at 05.00 Hrs. and PTT Thalang at 05.30 Hrs. and arrives at Suvarnabhumi Airport on the same evening at around 21.00 Hrs. Fare starts from 1,500 Baht per person depending on the number of passengers per trip. Booking must be made through SHA+ Manager at the hotel.
Phuket to Bangkok flight for Phuket Sandboxers

Phuket to Bangkok flight for Phuket Sandboxers

August 13, 2021
Thai Smile Airways is offering a flight from Phuket to Bangkok for "Phuket Sandbox" passengers starting on 14 August 2021. Flight WE8087 will depart Phuket at 14.30 Hrs. and arrive in Bangkok at 16.00 Hrs. The ticket price is 4,300 Baht per person all-inclusive. Payment must be made by 12.00 Hrs. on 12 August 2021. For further information on this flight, email [email protected]
Samui Sandbox
New Entry Requirements for October 1

New Entry Requirements for October 1

September 28, 2021
On September 27, the CCSA agreed to reduce the quarantine period for vaccinated international travelers to 7 days from 1 October. Those who have not been vaccinated will quarantine for 10-14 days.
  • Group 1: Vaccinated travelers from countries not eligible for the Sandbox program need to do a 7 days quarantine.
  • Group 2: Vaccinated travelers from all countries arriving in Bangkok will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of 7 days.
  • Group 3: Not vaccinated travelers arriving by air/sea must undergo mandatory quarantine for 10 days.
  • Group 4: Not vaccinated travelers arriving by land must undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
Travelers who are eligible for the Phuket or Samui Plus Sandbox programs will not be affected by these new entry requirements.

New Eligible Countries for Sandbox Program

September 28, 2021
The list of countries and territories from where travelers may enter Thailand’s Sandbox program has been updated from 70 to 78.

New Eligible Countries for Thailand Sandbox
The Briza Beach Resort

Samui Sandbox Hotel of the Week

September 22, 2021
This week, we feature one of the Samui Extra Plus Hotels for your Sandbox application. Situated on beautiful Chaweng Beach, The Briza Beach Resort, offers spacious and luxurious villas with private pools and free WiFi. It enjoys convenient access to Koh Samui's entertainment spots as well as restaurants and bars. The Briza Beach Resort is a 5-minute stroll to various shopping and dining options along Chaweng Beach. It only takes 15 minutes by car from the resort to Samui International Airport. To book this hotel, please check:

https://www.agoda.com/the-briza-beach-resort/hotel/koh-samui-th.html
Countries Eligible for Phuket and Samui Plus Sandbox

List of Countries Eligible for Phuket and Samui Plus Sandbox

August 27, 2021
On August 20th, the Ministry of health and the Tourism Authority of Thailand has published the latest list of countries eligible for the Phuket Sandbox, Samui Plus Sandbox, and Phuket Sandbox 7 + 7 Extension as follows:

Bangkok Airways

Domestic Air Travel: Bangkok Airways

August 27, 2021
Starting from 25 August 2021, Bangkok Airways will resume its direct flights between Samui and Phuket in support of the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus programs that were launched on 1 July and 15 July 2021, respectively signaling the beginning of Thailand’s reopening to tourism. The resumed services will be operated by ATR 72-600 aircraft starting with 3 flights per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Flight PG253 will depart Samui at 11.25 Hrs. and arrive at Phuket at 12.25 Hrs, with the return service Flight PG254 departing Phuket at 13.00 Hrs. and arriving at Samui at 14.00 Hrs.