Traveling these days, to Thailand and the rest of the countries takes a lot more effort than before due to COVID-19 but only because the whole world is trying to protect their own and others from contracting the virus and preventing it from increasing its numbers of victims. Traveling has only become difficult but it certainly has not become impossible.
Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension, a program introduced by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) that offers and enables vaccinated travelers to reduce the mandatory stay in Phuket. From 14 days of mandatory Sandbox Stay, the travelers can stay for only 7 days in Phuket and can continue their stay for 7 days on provided extension areas.
Extension Areas are the following:
- Krabi– Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, Railay
- Phang-Nga -Khao Lak, Koh Yao
- Surat Thani– Koh Samui, Koh Pha-Ngan, Koh Tao
After the days of stay in Phuket for 7 days and 7 days on the provided extension areas, the travelers are allowed to visit other destinations in Thailand.
Know that the Thai government’s priority is the safety and well-being of all who enter the country. As a traveler, the only responsibility that one has is to follow the applied rules while on their travel in the country. One must inform themselves of what comes their way: Before arriving, Arriving, and their Stay in the country.
Before Arriving (Pre-Arrival)
Before traveling to Thailand, the travelers must be informed of what the requirements are to enter the country. Listed below are the requirements:
- One must be from countries or territories approved by Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). They are required to be in that said country for at least 21 days before the scheduled date of travel, except the Thai nationals and foreign expatriates returning from overseas.
- One must have a Certificate of Entry or apply for one with the listed documents below:
- Copy of valid passport
- Proof of payment confirmation for a minimum of 14 nights at SHA Plus (SHA+) certified hotels and for their RT-PCR tests. If the traveler stays in the country less than 14 days, they must provide a confirmed flight ticket out of the country.
- Certificate of COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccination should have been taken for at least 14 days before the scheduled travel date, especially for those who just recovered from the COVID-19 infection. The vaccine should be approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health or the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Proof of purchased travel insurance with COVID-19 treatment coverage of at least $100,000 that would cover expenses in healthcare and treatment in case contracted by COVID-19.
- Exit screening must be completed before departure. All required documentation must be presented including a medical certificate with a result shown negative from an RT-PCR method conducted not over 72 hours before their scheduled travel date.
Upon arrival, it is important for the travelers to follow the procedures for the organization and for their own safety. Here are the guidelines and instructions that the travelers must follow:
- Travelers arriving at Phuket International Airport on direct international flights are subjected to health screening, which includes a COVID-19 nasal swab RT-PCR test and immigration procedures. And Covid-19 saliva RT-PCR test for those travelers that are under 6 years old.
- Travelers are required to download and install an alert application. Once installed, keep it turned on at all times during their stay in Thailand.
- Travelers must proceed directly to their booked hotel using the approved airport transfer service.
- Travelers must stay in their hotel room while waiting for the result of the first RT-PCR test conducted upon arrival.
- Travelers are allowed to travel anywhere in Phuket if the result of the RT-PCR test conducted upon arrival is negative. Know that even though travelers are allowed to travel anywhere inside Phuket, they are not allowed to stay at other hotels aside from the ones that one booked from the beginning. Also, they are required to report to the SHA+ hotel manager on a daily basis or every time they return from their travels inside Phuket.
During Your Stay
Before staying 7 days in extension areas, they must complete 7 days in Phuket. Thus, 7+7 extension. Travelers must remind themselves that there are different guidelines procedures in Phuket and in the extension areas.
Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension
- In order for the travelers to be allowed to travel to the extension areas, they must obtain a Transfer Form which will be provided by the SHA+ hotel that one stayed in Phuket. The transfer form will confirm their stay in Phuket for 7 days, along with the transfer form is the negative results of the RT-PCR test conducted on day 0 and days 6-7. The transfer form and the negative results are to be shown upon entry into the extension areas.
- In order for the travelers to travel outside the extension areas, they must obtain a Release Form. The release form will confirm the stay of travelers in the extension areas for 7 days and along with the need for the release form to travel outside the extension areas, they also need the negative result of the RT-PCR test that is conducted on days 12-13.
- If the travelers’ stay in the extension areas is less than 7 days, travelers must proceed directly to Phuket International Airport on the day of scheduled departure. Upon entry back to Phuket, travelers must provide a plane ticket or other documentation of international travel.
- If the travelers’ stay in the extension areas is less than 7 days and want to spend their remaining nights on Phuket Sandbox, they must ensure that they meet all entry requirements or conditions. The requirements include having a negative RT-PCR test result not over 72 hours before their scheduled travel date.
Approved Routes and Mode of Transfer to Extension Areas
To travel to the extension areas, travelers should be informed of what route and mode of transfer for them to arrive at their preferred extension areas. Listed below are the extension areas and their routes they should take and available mode of transfer:
- Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, or Railay)- SHA+ boat and ferry services from the approved piers (Ao Po, Chalong, Rassada, and Wisit Panwa).
- Phang-Nga (Ko Yao Noi or Ko Yao Yai)- SHA+ boat and ferry services from the approved piers (Ao Po and Ao Po Grand Marina) to two approved piers on Ko Yao Yai (Chonglat and Ban Laem Yai) and to an approved pier on Ko Yao Noi (Manoh).
- Phang-Nga (Khao Lak)- SHA+ car transfer services from Phuket direct to the SHA Plus hotels.
- Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao)- Bangkok Airways’ direct domestic flight on the Phuket-Ko Samui route.
Excursions and Shore Trips from Phuket
In case travelers want to enjoy more of their stay and travel, excursions from Phuket by sea are available by using SHA+ boat and ferry services from the approved piers (Ao Po, Chalong, Rassada, and Wisit Panwa). Cruising and yachting excursions are also available by using SHA+ cruise and yacht services from the approved piers (Yacht Haven Marina, Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket Boat Lagoon, Royal Phuket Marina, and Chalong Pier)
Traveling is already made possible by Thailand by taking risks and opening its gates. COVID-19 is still present and therefore to be taken seriously. Travelers from all over the world are required to follow procedures, protocols, guidelines that are put up by the government for the safety of the locals and also foreigners.
COE Application Service by Siam Legal
Application for the COE is free of charge and you do not need any assistance to apply for the COE. However, there will be instances where some documents are not being uploaded properly or some information or documents that are deemed unacceptable to the Thai embassy or consulate that may cause delay or rejection of your COE application, so it may be better to retain a service provider to assist you with the application.
To learn more about Siam Legal COE Services, please visit: https://www.siam-legal.com/coe
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