On June 22, 2021 the Thai government approved the Phuket Sandbox program that allows foreign and Thai travelers to enter Thailand without quarantine. The program is scheduled to start on July 1, 2021, before Thai borders will be fully reopened. Phuket is set to become the first Thai province of this “sandbox” model and vaccinated travelers visiting the island will no longer need to be quarantined. The information highlighted in this article serves as an easy-to-follow guide on how to enter Thailand without quarantine.
Here are 5 Easy Steps on How to Enter Thailand under Phuket Sandbox Program:
1. Check Your Eligibility
- Foreign travelers must travel from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of COVID-19 as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). They must also have already stayed in the said countries/regions no less than 21 days before the travel date.
- Thai nationals and foreign expatriates must travel from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of COVID-19 as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). They must also have already stayed in the said countries/regions no less than 21 days before the travel date.
- Foreign and Thai travelers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine registered with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before the travel date, and must have a vaccine certificate or card to verify their vaccination;
- Unvaccinated children below 18 years of age traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians are required to take a COVID-19 test prior to traveling to Phuket in lieu of vaccination card or proof of vaccination.
List of Pilot Countries for Phuket Sandbox as of July 12, 2021
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
Do you need a Thai Visa?
The foreigner may enter without a visa (depending on your nationality) or you must determine the appropriate visa to enter Thailand. Here are the most common types of visa you may obtain:
- Visa Exemption (for visiting Thailand for tourism purpose not longer than 45 days)
- Tourist Visa (for visiting Thailand not longer than 60 days)
- STV or Special Tourist Visa
- Non-Immigrant Visa (for visiting Thailand based on different purpose of stay and the visa is valid for 90 days and it can be extended in Thailand up to 1 year
- Thai Visas with Re-entry Permit
- Thailand Elite Visa
2. Book your Flight, COVID 19 Insurance and SHA+ Hotel
Book your Flight to Thailand
At present, certain airlines such as British Airways, El Al Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Airlines, THAI, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Emirates, and other major airlines are permitted to operate flights to Phuket whether it is on a daily or weekly basis.
TIP: On your flight to Phuket if it is not full, please ask the cabin crew if you can be seated two or three rows away from other passengers. In case there is one person who will test positive on arrival, you will not be required to isolate in a quarantine hotel at your expense.
Book your SHA+ Hotel
Despite the fact that there will be no quarantine requirements, all travelers will continue to be restricted to stay at some accommodations that received SHA+ certification, which is issued by Thai government for safety and health measures standards.
- For travelers who wish to visit Phuket only, no minimum stay is required but they must leave Phuket (Thailand) for another country on or before the intended departure date;
- For travelers who wish to continue the journey to other Thai destinations, they must stay in Phuket for 14 nights, and thereafter will be allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand. You also need to stay at one SHA+ hotel for your first 7 nights and then you are able to move to another hotel(s) for the next 7 nights also in a SHA+ hotel.
- You need make sure your SHA+ Hotel will issue the SHABA Certificate of your booking and receipt of the prepaid RT PCR COVID tests in Phuket
The list of accredited SHA+ Hotels can be found here:
***Please contact your SHA+ Hotel in Phuket to arrange in advance your COVID 19 tests in Phuket. It is required by the Thai Embassy or Consulate when applying for COE.
You’ll need to secure COVID-19 Insurance that meets the requirements of the Thai authorities such as:
- Coverage of up to THB 3.5 million (equivalent to at least USD $100,000) for medical expenses due to injury or sickness including COVID-19
- The insurance policy must cover the length of your stay in Thailand. It can be 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, or even 12 months.
To purchase the correct COVID Insurance and receive the certificate within minutes, please check this page: https://www.siam-legal.com/axa-insurance
3. Apply for the COE or Certificate of Entry
The foreign traveler must apply for the COE or certificate of entry from the local Thai Embassy or consulate at least 5 to 15 working days prior to the intended date of travel.
- To apply for the COE, please register online by filling in your personal details, and upload supporting documents such as a copy of passport, copy of the valid visa (if any), and COVID-19 travel insurance. The Embassy will screen and pre-approve the applicants who meet the requirements. Please check the status of your application after 1-3 working days.
- The applicants can check their status online if they have been pre-approved. The applicants who received the pre-approval will upload a copy of the flight ticket and the SHA+ hotel booking confirmation. Please check the status of your application after 1-3 working days.
4. Obtain COVID-19 Test
After receiving your COE or certificate of entry, you must obtain the following:
- Medical Certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID -19 is not detected. The COVID test must be by the RT-PCR method, conducted within 72 hours before departure. Some airlines do not accept home kit tests so please check specific requirements with the airlines you are traveling with.
5. Prepare your documents before departure
You should print and present these documents to your airline before departure:
- Certificate of Entry (COE)
- Valid visa in your passport (if needed)
- Vaccination Record/Certificate/Card
- Printed Medical Certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID -19 is not detected. The COVID test must be by the RT-PCR method, within 72 hours before departure.
- COVID 19 travel insurance certificate
- Confirmation Letter of SHA+ Hotel booking
- Receipt of RT PCR COVID tests booking in Phuket
- Confirmed of travel itinerary
- T8 Health Form
- Download ThailandPlus mobile app on your phone
Siam Legal Visa and COE Application Assistance
Phuket Sandbox Package 1: 200 USD
- Unlimited Online Visa Consultation
- Extensive checklist of required documents
- Assistance in visa application (non-immigrant O visa and tourist visa)
- Assistance in COE application
- 2 to 3 weeks process
- Available in the US, UK and Canada
Phuket Sandbox Package 2: 100 USD
- Consultation with our Immigration Specialist
- Extensive checklist of required documents
- Assistance in COE application (including Visa Exemption)
- 3 to 10 days process
- Available in eligible countries only