Phuket Sandbox FAQs

The Phuket Sandbox model is to reopen Phuket from 1 July. Overseas travellers from certain countries — including Nordics and Baltics — who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 can travel to Phuket without the need to quarantine. 

We understand that you may have questions and will do our best to answer them here. The information here is aimed specifically at travellers from the Nordics and Baltics. Different rules may apply if you are travelling from another country. The Phuket Sandbox scheme is open to travellers from designated low/medium risk countries.

Phuket Sandbox key points

  • Open to travellers from countries/regions which are deemed low to medium risk (this includes the Nordic and Baltic countries) You can find the list of countries here (update as of 30 June 2021).
  • Must have resided in designated country for at least 21 days before departure to Phuket
  • Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required (both jabs)
    Obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE) before departure
  • Travel insurance with Covid-19 cover
    (Must cover medical costs up to a minimum of USD 100,000 for the entire duration of your stay in Thailand)
  • Download the Mor Chana and Thailand plus App before departure and upload the required information
    Mor Chana For Android / For iPhone
  • Travellers must have a medical certificate with a RT-PCR laboratory result indicating that Covid-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before departure
  • Covid-19 screening including RT-PCR tests on arrival in Phuket and further tests on day 6 or 7 and day 12 or 13 of your stay
  • Must pay in advance for Covid-19 tests in Phuket. In most cases, this can be arranged by your SHA Plus hotel in Phuket. Contact them to make payment and obtain a receipt for your Certificate of Entry. Cost is approximately 8,000 Baht in total for 3 tests. After 15 July, travellers can book Covid tests via the website or the application, which is soon to be updated.
  • Must fly directly to Phuket International Airport. Domestic transits in Thailand are currently not allowed.
  • Stay at a SHA Plus hotel (this is a hotel with enhanced safety protocols and where at least 70% of staff have been vaccinated)
  • If you wish to travel around Thailand, you must stay in Phuket for a minimum 14 days.

Before you go

ttps://asq.in.th/phuket-sandbox-hotelsertificate of Entry (CoE)Q. What is the Certificate of Entry (CoE) and where do I get it? 
A. The Certificate of Entry (CoE) is a document that is required before flying to Thailand. Application can be made online here: https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/  
InsuranceQ. I am fully vaccinated (2 jabs), is Covid-19 insurance a must?
A. Yes. You need to have insurance for Covid-19 that covers medical costs up to a minimum of USD 100,000 for the entire duration of your stay in Thailand. If you are travelling with children, they will also need to be covered by insurance.   There is some information here from the Thai General Insurance Association. https://covid19.tgia.org/  
Vaccine  Q. Can I travel right after getting the vaccine? 
A. Visitors need to be fully vaccinated with two shots of the vaccine (one shot for Johnson & Johnson). Vaccination shots need to have been given at least 14 days before boarding your flight to Thailand and no longer than one year before.  

The vaccine must be approved by: World Health Organization(WHO)
or
The Thai Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA approved list includes AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.  

Q. If I have not been vaccinated or only receive 1 dose of for example AstraZeneca, can I still travel to Thailand?
A. Yes, you can, but you will need to follow the current entry procedures and enter quarantine on arrival. You can only visit without quarantine if you have been fully vaccinated with both doses of the jab (or one shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).  
Travel with ChildrenQ. I am travelling with children under 18 years, do they need to take a RT-PCR test?
A. Yes. They must have a medical certificate with a laboratory result by an RT-PRC method indicating that COVID-19 is not detected no more than 72 hours before travel.  
List of countries to enter ThailandQ. Where can I find the list of countries that are allowed to enter Thailand?
A. You can find the list of countries here (update as of 30 June 2021). List of countries/territories is approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), per the guidelines of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), as proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS) and TAT.
FlightQ. Which airlines fly directly to Phuket?
A. Here is the list of airlines who fly directly to Phuket
Emirate: www.emirates.com  
Qatar Airways: https://www.qatarairways.com
Singapore Airlines: www.singaporeair.com  
Thai Airways: www.thaiairways.com
Turkish Airlines: https://www.turkishairlines.com  

Please check flight schedules on the respective airlines’ websites. In some cases these will be operating as code shares and while not all will be direct in the usual sense, they will be regarded as such because they don’t require transiting via another Thai airport.  

Q. Can I fly to Phuket via Bangkok? 
A. In time it may be possible, but not as of today as it is not allowed domestic transit in Thailand. Thai authorities are still sorting out the arrangements at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport.  
HotelQ. Travellers are required to stay at SHA Plus hotels. What is SHA and SHA Plus?
A. SHA is an abbreviation of Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA). To be awarded SHA status, businesses must meet strict safety protocols. The SHA Plus certificate is only granted to businesses that meet all the safety protocols plus at least 70% of their staff have been vaccinated against Covid-19.  

Q. Where can I find a list of SHA Plus Hotels?
A. You can find SHA Plus hotels in this link: Phuket SHAPlus hotels  

Q. How can I book SHA Plus Hotels?
A. You can book your SHA Plus hotel on any booking platform or via your travel agency. Please make sure that you get confirmation from SHABA system.   

Once you have made your ‘SHA Plus’ hotel reservation(s), you must advise the hotel(s)/tour operator(s) or OTA(s) that you are joining the “Phuket Sandbox” project so that the hotel(s) can enter your booking details into the ‘SHABA’ (SHA Plus Booking Authentication) system and you will then receive a QR code and Reference number as required by the ‘Certificate of Entry’ application. No other forms of confirmation of reservation will be accepted.  

Q. I own a property in Phuket. Can I stay at my house or an apartment instead of SHA Plus Hotel?
A. Staying in a private residence is not allowed for the first 14 days. The only exception is if the residence or condominium has been issued with a SHA Plus certificate. All international travellers must stay at SHA Plus hotels only.

Q. Do I have to stay at the same hotel or can I use different ones?
A. For the first 7 nights, you must stay at the same hotel. After that, you can stay at two different hotels for the next 7 nights and no more than 3 SHA Plus hotels during your 14 days. However, all accommodation you book must be at SHA Plus certified venues. Hotel/accommodation owners are legally required to report the names of all guests to the Phuket provincial authority on a daily basis.  

Q. Must accommodation be prepaid, or will proof of booking suffice?
A. Accommodation must be prepaid.  

Q. Are there standardised cancellation and refund policies for ‘SHA Plus’ hotels for peace of mind agreed upon by all ‘SHA Plus’ hoteliers? 
A. Yes there are.  

Arrival and Stay in Phuket

Covid TestsQ. I am fully vaccinated and have a negative RT-PCR result 72 hours before my departure to Phuket. Do I need to take Covid tests upon arrival and during my stay?
A. Yes. International passengers are subject to Covid-19 screening including RT-PCR tests upon arrival. You can wait for the result at your pre-booked SHA Plus-certified accommodation. These should be available within 8-12 hours. If you test negative for Covid-19, you can then travel anywhere in Phuket.
1st test on arrival
2nd test on day 6 or 7 if stay less than 7 days
3rd test on 12 or 13 if stay from 12 days or more  
Stay at your SHA Plus hotel while waiting for the test result  within 12 hours. If tested negative, you are free to travel anywhere in Phuket.

Q. Are any children required to take any Covid test during their stay?
A. – Children under 6 years old are not required to take a RT-PCR test. All other visitors will be required to undergo three tests if staying for 14 days or more. 
– Children aged 6-18 years must undergo RT-PCR tests during the stay.
1st test on arrival
2nd test on day 6 or 7 if stay less than 7 days
3rd test on 12 or 13 if stay 12 days or more  

Q. How much do Covid tests cost and how to pay?
A. As part of the conditions to obtain the Certificate of Entry (CoE), visitors need to pay for their Covid tests in Phuket in advance. In most cases, this can be arranged by your SHA Plus hotel in Phuket. Contact them to make payment and obtain a receipt for your Certificate of Entry. Cost is approximately 8,000 Baht in total for 3 tests. (about 210EUR) Transportation costs to Covid Test centers are not included and will be an extra cost. Contact your SHA Plus hotel for advice. Please bring your prepaid covid test receipt together with your passport to Covid Test Centers.  

Hospitals in Phuket can also carry out a RT-PCR test. The price ranges from around 2,500-4,000 Baht. The Thai government currently requires only RT-PCR tests during your stay.

Q. Where can I find Covid test centers in Phuket?
A. RT-PCR Covid-19 testing in Phuket is available as follows 
– Phuket Swab Center Maikhao operated by Bangkok Hospital Phuket 
– Phuket Swab Center Laguna operated by Bangkok Hospital Phuket 
– Phuket Swab Center Central Phuket operated by Vachira Phuket Hospital  
– Phuket Swab Center Jungceylon operated by Bangkok Hospital Siriroj 
– Phuket Swab Center Kata Center operated by Mission Hospital Phuket 
 
Q. Is there any rapid test and how much does it cost?
A. Rapid tests are available from hospitals, clinics, and private labs in Phuket. The price of a rapid test ranges from 450-1,000 Baht.  

Q. What happens if I test positive for Covid during my time in Phuket?
A. Anybody who tests positive will be taken to hospital via transport arranged by your hotel. Even if you aren’t showing symptoms of Covid, you will be required to go to hospital. The expense will be covered by your Covid insurance.  

Q. I am traveling in a group. If a member tested positive, what to do?
A. If the person is travelling in a group, every person in the group must undergo a test.  Any person experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms must immediately get a test done.  In the case a traveller tests positive for COVID-19 in Thailand, he/she will be responsible for the medical expenses, which must be covered by the required insurance.  

Q. Is there any Covid tracing?
A. Yes. You will need to download the MorChana and Thailand Plus apps as part of the Covid safety protocols. The app must be kept on as you move to different locations around Phuket. You will also need to fill out an arrival card at Phuket airport.  
StayQ. Do I have to stay in Phuket for 14 days?
A. Yes and no. Yes, if you would like to visit other areas of Thailand. The minimum of 14 days in Phuket is required. No, you can stay less than 14 days. There is no minimum requirement to stay in Phuket. For example you can stay for a week or 10 days. Then you can fly directly home or to other countries.   

Q. Why do I have to stay for 14 days if I’ve already been fully vaccinated?
A. Thailand’s vaccination rollout has been slower than in the Nordics and Baltics. Only a relatively small percentage of Thailand’s population have so far been vaccinated. However, for the reopening of Phuket at least 70% of the island’s population will have been vaccinated. To help boost the local economy, the idea is to get tourists to stay at least 14 days on Phuket. With Phuket being an island, it also makes it easier to test and trace any potential Covid cases.  
Safety first  Q. Do I have to wear a mask?
A. Yes, it is compulsory to wear masks in public. Although the regulations may be relaxed in July, especially in Phuket, all visitors are kindly asked to observe local rules. Although it’s unlikely you’ll be required to wear a mask on the beach if you are adhering to social distancing. You are requested to observe any local rules that may be in place which include wearing a mask in taxis and minibuses. Please also observe any signs that ask you to scan your temperature and wear masks inside shops or malls.   

It is important for your safety to follow the DMHTTA precautions: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application. In addition, we recommended to use only SHA PLus services (restaurants, tours & excursions). Here is the update list of SHA Plus business in Phuket  
Travel in and around PhuketQ. Will everything be open as usual in Phuket in July?
A. Many businesses in Phuket are looking forward to the restart of international tourism. At the same time, we can’t ignore the fact that Phuket has been particularly hard hit by the absence of tourism brought about by the worldwide Covid situation. Sadly, some businesses have gone bust. Others are operating with a limited number of staff. Although not everywhere will be fully open, venues that are will be extra welcoming. As tourists start to return it’s hoped that more businesses will be able to reopen. And with quieter beaches and uncrowded attractions, there are advantages to visit now.  

Q. Can I grab a taxi?
A. It is recommended that only ‘SHA Plus’ certified taxis be used for transportation, even though non ‘SHA Plus’ transportation is also permitted.    In the case there are more than 2 people in a vehicle, masks must be worn at all times.   

Q. Am I free to travel around Phuket independently?
A. Yes. The only exception is the initial arrival and transfer to your hotel from the airport. This needs to be arranged by your hotel.  

During your stay in Phuket, you will also need to keep the MorChana and Thailand Plus apps activated on your smartphone.  

Follow the DMHTTA precautions: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.  

It is recommended to use only SHA PLus services (restaurants, tours & excursions). Here is the update list of SHA Plus business in Phuket  

Q. Can I travel to other islands?
A. Yes, Travellers can enjoy day trips and snorkeling at popular islands in Phuket such as: Koh Rang (Yai and Noi), Koh Naka (Yai and Noi), Koh Racha (Yai and Noi), Koh Maprao (Coconut Island), Koh Tapao (Yai and Noi), Koh Loneone, Koh Mai Thon, Koh He (Coral Island) and Koh Bon.  

Departure from Phuket

DepartureQ. When can I travel to other areas of Thailand and do I need any extra documents?
A. For travelling from Phuket to other Thai destinations, travellers are required to show proof that they have completed a 14-night stay accommodation along with other required documentation per the guidelines and measures announced by the respective destinations.  

Q. Can I fly via Bangkok on my homebound or to other countries?
A. No, currently domestic transits in Thailand are not allowed. You must fly directly out of Phuket to your home country or to other countries if staying no more than 14 days.  

Q. Do I need to take Covid Test for my homebound or to other countries?
A. For travelling from Phuket to other countries, travellers are advised to follow the guidelines and measures announced by the respective country of their destination.

If you require any further information, please contact Phuket sandbox call center +66(0)76 681 084. Available 24 hours.

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Domestic Departure For travelling from Phuket or Samui-Phangan-Tao to other Thai destinations, travellers are required to show proof that they have completed a 14-night stay along with the other required documents per the guidelines and measures announced by the respective province of destination.  
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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 Pre-arrival 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. 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