Initial Information – Reopening Phuket 1 July

 The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to provide the initial information on the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ model to safely reopen Phuket to fully vaccinated international travellers from 1 July, 2021.

This is a living document, which the TAT will provide more details on the Phuket Sandbox model as soon as officially approved directives from the Royal Thai Government are available.

Phuket Sandbox

At a glance

  • Applicable for international travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 14 days, but no later than 1 year before the travel date. They must also be from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
  • Applicable for children under 6 years of age travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
  • Applicable for children between 6 and 18 years of age travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians, but they are required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at their own expense.
  • All vaccinated international arrivals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine registered with the MoPH or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • All arrivals are required to download and install the ThailandPlus application on their smartphones, and must keep the app on all the time, as they move to different locations around Phuket.
  • All arrivals are required to stay in an accommodation establishment that is certified with the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus certification for no less than 14 nights, and thereafter will be allowed to travel to visit other Thai destinations.
  • All COVID-19 tests must follow the guidelines by the MoPH.
  • Travellers are allowed to engage in any tourism activities but are advised to strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – contact tracing application (Thai Chana and Mor Chana).

Foreign Traveller Journey


In order to be eligible to enter in Thailand, vaccinated international travellers – and their children – need to have all of their advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry. These include:

  • A vaccine certificate to proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 14 days, but no later than 1 year before the travel date with a vaccine registered with the MoPH or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO);
  • A valid visa;
  • A Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate;
  • A COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000;
  • A confirmation of booking for 14 nights in a SHA Plus-certified accommodation;
  • A medical certificate with an RT-PCR laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before departure;
  • The duration of stay can be less than 14 days, but travellers must leave Phuket on or before the permit to stay date.


  • Undergo Immigration and Customs procedures, and a COVID-19 screening, including RT-PCR tests;
  • Download the ThailandPlus application;
  • Check-in at the pre-booked SHA Plus-certified accommodation establishment and stay there for no less than 14 nights.


  • Undergo a COVID-19 test using an RT-PCR or a rapid antigen method on Day 5 of your arrival per the MoPH’s guidelines;
  • Engage in tourism activities or enjoy services in SHA Plus-certified venues and businesses, under the DMHTTA precautions;
  • For emergency in case of having respiratory or other related symptoms, please alert the staff at your accommodation or contact the nearest hospital;
  • The operator/owner of the accommodation establishment is required to report the name list and status of all foreign guests to the provincial authority on a daily basis.


  • For travelling from Phuket to other Thai destinations, vaccinated international travellers are required to show a vaccine certificate and a medical certificate that they have tested negative for COVID-19;
  • For travelling from Phuket to other countries, travellers are advised to follow the guidelines and measures announced by the respective country of destination.

Relevant information

Child PolicyChildren under 6 years of age must travel only with their parents or guardians who have been vaccinated;

In the case the parents or guardians are found to have COVID-19, the children are to be placed in isolation for 14 days.
CountriesThe Phuket Sandbox is applicable only for fully vaccinated international travellers from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). *The list will be available soon.  

High-risk countries are not allowed entry at this stage.
Visa & Certificate of EntryEvery traveller must obtain a Certificate of Entry (COE) at  Check the website to see the required documents;

Embassy/Consulate-General takes 3 working days to process the application;

Applicants can check the result of the application on the website.
InsuranceInternational travellers must have an insurance covering treatment and medical expenses in relation to COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of US$100,000. The insurance must cover the total duration of stay in Thailand.
Vaccines  International travellers who have received the following vaccines are able to enter Phuket:
– WHO approved vaccines;
– Vaccines approved by the government of each country;
– Thai FDA approved vaccines (5): AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac Biotech, and Sinopharm.

Arrivals must be vaccinated more than 14 days to 1 year before entering Phuket. Proof of vaccination must be submitted when applying for a COE.
AirlinesAirlines that have announced direct flights to Phuket:
– Singapore Airlines
– Emirates
– Qatar Airways
– Hongkong Airlines
– EVA Air
– Korean Air
– Jinair
– Cathay Pacific
– KLM  

Please check the flight schedule on the respective airline’s websites.  

Please be aware that some airlines are unable to operate into your home country for your return.
Before Arrival in PhuketYou must get an RT-PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arrival in Phuket and submit proof to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs when obtaining your COE.
At the AirportYou must download the Thailand Plus application.

At Immigration, you are required to complete your arrival card, show your COE and passport.
SHA & SHA Plus+‘SHA’ is a certification for businesses who meet the basic standards of hygiene and health safety for their products and services in accordance with the nationwide measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  

‘SHA Plus’ is a certification for companies/individuals who have received the SHA certificate AND 70% of the workforce has been vaccinated.  

Here is the constantly updated list of SHA Plus businesses in Phuket.
While in PhuketYou can go anywhere in Phuket, BUT you must strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – contact tracing application (Thai Chana and Mor Chana).  

Masks must be worn at all times in public areas and if there are two or more people in a vehicle.  
A COVID-19 rapid test is required on Day 5.  

*We will provide the answer as soon as we have more info.
Can a 2nd guest who is already resident in Thailand join a guest who has arrived ‘internationally’ into a ‘SHA Plus’ hotel?
AccommodationIt is mandatory that you book a ‘SHA Plus’ hotel for the first 14 nights in Phuket;

Residing in a private residence is not allowed on the first 14 nights for COVID-19 control purposes unless the residence/condominium has a SHA Plus certificate;

Q. Must I book a consecutive stay in one place? A. You can move between SHA Plus hotels during the 14 days.

*We will provide answers to the following questions as soon as we have more info.
Booking must be prepaid? or if proof of the booking will suffice?
Standardised Cancellation and refund policies for ‘SHAPlus’ accommodation for peace of mind agreed upon by all ‘SHA Plus’ hoteliers?
COVID-19 TestRT-PCR test.
Every hospital in Phuket can provide an RT-PCR test;
The cost of an RT-PCR covid test ranges from 2,500-4,000 Baht per person.

Rapid test. 
You can get a rapid test from hospitals, clinics, and private labs in Phuket;
The cost of a rapid test ranges from 450-1,000 Baht per person.

COVID-19 testing is at the travellers’ own expense.
Tours & ExcursionWe recommend that you only book an excursion with ‘SHA Plus’ certified companies for your safety;

On the first 5 days, you are allowed to visit only the islands of Phuket, which are Ko Racha, Ko Naka, Coral Island, and Ko Khai;

Ko Phi Phi, Ko Yao and Phang Nga Bay are NOT a part of Phuket province. Therefore, you must get a rapid test on Day 5 before going to these places.
RestaurantsWe recommend that you only use ‘SHA Plus’ certified restaurants for your safety, but you may dine-in at non-certified restaurants, too.
Taxi & TransportationWe recommend that you use only ‘SHA Plus’ certified taxis and transportation, but you may use non ‘SHA Plus’, too if you prefer. If there are more than 2 people in a vehicle, masks must be worn at all times.  

*We will provide answers to the following questions as soon as we have more info.
Is there is an app or website to be able to book SHA+ transport services?
Is GRAB taxi SHA+?
Other Activities*We will provide answers to the following questions as soon as we have more info.
What’s open?
COVID-19 InfectedIf you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, you must immediately get a test.

If you travel in a group, everybody in the group must undergo a test.

In case you are tested positive for COVID-19 in Thailand, you will be responsible for the medical expenses which must be covered by your insurance. 
Domestic TravelAfter spending 14 nights in Phuket and you are tested negative for COVID-19, you are free to go anywhere in Thailand but you must follow each province’s restrictions.
International TravelYou must follow your home country’s entry requirements, and Thailand is not responsible or able to assist with such updates by individual countries.

TAT will continue to provide regular updates on Phuket’s preparations to safely reopen to foreign tourists ranging from entry requirements and public health procedures to local vaccinations and hygiene standards.


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The authentic and untouched feeling of Khanom
Text & Photo: Mette Solberg Fjeldheim Drrr, drrr, drrr … I’m in a fishing boat, surrounded by the sea, jungle covered hilltops and armed with a camera. What we’re looking for? The famous, pink dolphins of Khanom!  The boat has just made a stop and the only sound we can hear, is waves rocking the boat and a slight breeze of the wind.  –  You see there? Our guide breaks the silence. – A baby dolphin! This one is grey, as they have to grow older to get that characteristic pink look. But seeing a baby means the mother is close by, our guide explains. –  If we wait here, at a distance, we will see more dolphins.  So we wait. And we see: Yes, they are pink!  Some time ago, I visited Khanom, a less touristic area in the South of Thailand. This is an area in the province Nakhon Si Thammarat, away from mass tourism. Khanom is a beach town where local fishermen and farmers reside and only few have turned to tourism. Some of them take tourists like us out to see the pink dolphins. Others run smaller boutique resorts, like Natasha, whom I met visiting her boutique resort Le Pes Villa.  – This used to be a banana plantation, she explains.  She tells me she was only 26 years old when she returned home from studying abroad. She decided to start building a small resort with restaurant and coffee shop. Situated in the hills, a short drive from the beach, it gives a jungle-like, secluded feel to the place.  We’re walking and talking in her garden, tended by her mother. Small signs are planted next to colorful flowers offering words of wisdom, like “Live your life and forget your age”. It gives a certain personal touch to it all.  At her restaurant she serves homemade, local dishes decorated with flowers. Before leaving, I head to her small coffee shop and order take away as if I was in a big city.  Yet, Khanom seems to be far, far away from the busy, bustling city life. And it is. The beaches here are quiet, the nature wild and green. Many of the resorts are small, family run and the food is simply delicious. With restaurants offering traditional Thai food based on locally grown vegetables and fresh fish from the ocean, you can’t go wrong.  While staying the night at the even more secluded Baan Thong Ching, which seems far away from any other resort, it feels like I am stranded on an isolated island. The French co-owner, Max, serves us the catch of today with a bottle of wine. The interior is a mix of traditional Thai and European shabby chic style. The lit light bulbs give a certain unmissable cozy feel.  With my feet in the sand, underneath the starry sky, I feel miles away from any overcrowded touristic hotspot. As I fall asleep to the waves hitting the shore, I can’t help but look forward to waking up to yet a sunny sky, a long stroll by the beach and a swim the next day. A morning swim to start the day, in the blue ocean surrounded by jungle clad hills and soft, sandy shores. How to get there By plane to Nakorn Si Thammarat, which is an hour flight from BKK. Then a 1,20 min. drive from the airport.   reiselykke