Thailand Travel Restrictions Updates


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Thailand’s Omicron Cases Passes 1000 Mark

Thailand’s Omicron Cases Passes 1000 Mark

Just right after New Year’s Day, the Department of Medical Sciences reported that the Kingdom has already surpassed the 1000 mark of total Omicron infections.

Of the 1,551 tallied Omicron cases from November 1 to January 1, 779 of whom were foreigners, Dr. Supakit Sirila, the department’s director-general announced on January 2. He also added that for January 1 alone, 189 people tested positive for Omicron: 68 were foreigners and 121 were found locally.

Currently, Omicron cases have been found in 47 provinces nationwide with Bangkok (395), Kalasin (195), Chonburi (148), Phuket (125), and Roi Et (119) having the highest cases.

As of January 4, Thailand reported 3,091 new cases making the total number of infections to 2,206,713.

Thailand Suspends Test & Go Registration

Thailand Suspends Test & Go Registration

Due to the concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant, Thailand has temporarily suspended the new application of Thailand Pass under the Test & Go and Sandbox programs starting December 22 until January 4.

The move means that all international travelers planning to enter the Kingdom under the Test & Go and Sandbox schemes will not be able to register for a Thailand Pass. However, Phuket Sandbox is still open for tourists.

The Thailand Pass website states that “applicants who have registered but have not received their QR Code must wait for their Thailand Pass to be considered/approved. Once approved, they can enter Thailand under the scheme they have registered.”

In a press release, the Tourism Authority mentioned that approximately 200,000 visitors had applied to visit Thailand through the Test-and-Go and Sandbox programs, while about 110,000 of them had already arrived. The remaining 90,000 are still cleared for travel to Thailand without quarantine.

Before the Suspension

On November 1, Thailand introduced three schemes for inbound travelers:

  • Test & Go (Quarantine-Free Entry)
  • Sandbox (Relaxed Quarantine Rules for the fully vaccinated)
  • Alternative Quarantine System (AQS). 

Travelers were previously allowed to register for a Thailand Pass based on their countries of origin and vaccination status. The reopening of the borders is part of Thailand’s action to slowly revive the tourism industry to boost the economy.

Changes to be Expected

Travelers approved for the Test & Go scheme 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.

Meanwhile, new travelers (except those participating in the Phuket Sandbox program) will be subject to a quarantine of seven to 10 days, depending on their country of origin.

The Thai government will review its suspension measures on January 4, 2022.

Omicron Variant Now in Thailand

Omicron Variant Now in Thailand

The Ministry of Health logged 104 Omicron cases so far while the first locally-transmitted infection was reported on December 20, 2022 in the government’s daily briefing.

Sumanee Wacharasin, hazard communications director of the Department of Disease Control, detailed that the first locally transmitted case was detected in a Thai woman who contacted Omicron from her Colombian husband who came to Thailand from Nigeria in late November.

Currently, travelers to Thailand coming from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe are not allowed to enter the Kingdom.

The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa in November. Currently, it is the dominant strain of new infections in the United States, with reports citing that it will be the dominant strain soon in Europe.

New Entry Requirements for October 1

New Entry Requirements for October 1

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.

Update on the COVID-19 Visa Extension

Update on the COVID-19 Visa Extension

On September 20, 2021, the Thai Immigration Bureau extended the deadline for the COVID extension applications to November 26, 2021. For foreigners who are currently in Thailand, regardless of your visa type or category, you are still allowed to request the 60-day COVID extension at any local immigration office. The extension of stay will commence on the date of application. Please note that this extension of stay is never automatic, you must apply for this at your immigration office and it will be at the discretion of the officer to approve the application.

Thailand’s New 10-Year Visa

This week the Thai cabinet greenlighted an economic stimulus and investment promotion package aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners and highly skilled professionals from overseas to help revive the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a brief summary of this package:

10-Year Thai Visa

New Eligible Countries for Sandbox Program

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

Update: Visa Exemption Program and COVID-19 Extension

Update: Visa Exemption Program and COVID-19 Extension

This is a reminder that for all countries entering Thailand under the Visa Exemption Program, the 45-day permit to stay shall only be given until September 30, 2021. Starting October 1, 2021, you will be permitted to stay in Thailand for 30 days under this Visa Exemption Scheme. For foreigners who are currently in Thailand, you are still allowed to request the 60-day COVID extension on or before September 27, 2021. Should there be any changes or extensions in one of these programs, our firm will inform you in our next weekly updates.

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.