On July 12, 2021, the Thai government started the applications for the Samui Plus Sandbox program that allows foreign and Thai travelers to enter Samui in Thailand without quarantine. The program is scheduled to start on July 15, 2021 which makes it the second Thai province of this “sandbox” model, following Phuket Sandbox that started 2 weeks before. The information highlighted in this article serves as an easy-to-follow guide on how to enter Thailand without quarantine.
Easy Steps on How to Enter Thailand under Samui Plus Sandbox Program:
1. Check Your Eligibility
- Foreign travellers 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 returning to Thailand 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). It is not necessary to have stayed in these countries for 21 days before travel.
- 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 under 18 years of age traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians are required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before traveling to Thailand in lieu of the COVID 19 vaccination.
As of September 22, 2021, please see the list of eligible countries of departure:
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 visas you may obtain:
- Visa Exemption (for visiting Thailand for tourism purposes not longer than 45 days)
- Tourist Visa (for visiting Thailand not longer than 60 days)
- Non-Immigrant Visa (for visiting Thailand based on the 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 Samui Extra Plus and SHA+ Hotels
Book your Flight to Thailand
You can fly to Samui on a direct international flight or international flight via Bangkok and be connected with approved sealed flights as details below.
For the flight via Bangkok, the ticket must be issued on the same booking with an international flight in conjunction with such approved Bangkok-Samui-Bangkok flights. Any flight reservations booked separately will not be allowed.
Bangkok Airways Flights: PG5125 and PG5171
Book your Samui Plus Hotels
Despite the fact that there will be no quarantine requirements, all travelers will continue to be restricted to stay at some accommodations.
- For travelers who wish to visit Samui only, no minimum stay is required but they must leave Samui (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 Samui for 14 nights and thereafter will be allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand.
Samui Extra Plus Hotels (Day 1-7) in Samui only
From Day 1 to 3, you will be allowed to leave your hotel room to a designated area within the hotel only. From Day 4 to 7, you will be allowed to travel to a designated route in Samui or join a tour program within Samui also.
SHA+ Hotels (Day 8-14) in Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao
After spending 7 nights at Samui Extra Plus hotel, you will be allowed to travel freely around Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao but you will have to stay at an accommodation with a SHA+ certificate, which is issued by the Thai government for safety and health measures standards. You will need to stay at SHA Plus hotel for no less than 7 nights and the hotel(s) will need to be pre-booked in advance.
Purchase your COVID 19 Insurance
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 30 days, 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), proof of vaccination, 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 Samui Extra Plus and 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 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 Samui Extra Plus and SHA+ Hotel booking
- Confirmed of travel itinerary
- Receipt of prepaid COVID 19 RT-PCR tests in Samui
- T8 Health Form
- Download ThailandPlus mobile app on your phone
Siam Legal Visa and COE Application Assistance
Samui 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 Only
Samui 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