The Return of Leatherback Turtles in Phuket

Even though the pandemic has brought the stop the world, it has also allowed the nature to revive and heal itself.  In Phuket, we had witnessed many leatherback turtles have returned to lay their eggs after a long time of absence since 2017. These ancient leatherback turtles are the largest turtle in the world both for fresh water and sea water. What make them so unique is their leather shells and the pattern that look like starfruit. Since they rely fully on nature for their well-being, fertile nature become most impact factor of their distinction. Phuket and Phang Nga are the ideal places for them to lay eggs especially when the tourists were away.   On the morning of new year 2021, one of the leatherback mothers came ashore to lay her eggs on Kata Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Phuket. The number of nests continue to grow from 13 nests last year to 18 nests altogether this year. This phenomenon is one of the evident that nature have return to fertility.  

After the world return to its normal stage, Thailand will continue to work on green tourism and welcome all the travelers close to the nature and the beauty that Thailand has to offer.

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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 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. 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. Arrival 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. Stay 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. Departure 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 Policy Children 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. Countries The 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 Entry Every traveller must obtain a Certificate of Entry (COE) at https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/.  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. Insurance International 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. Airlines Airlines that have announced direct flights to Phuket:– THAI– 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 Phuket You 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 Airport You 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’...
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 informationMor 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/   Insurance Q. 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 Children Q. 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 Thailand Q. 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. Flight Q. 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.   Hotel Q. 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...
Thailand confirms reopening the country plan from 1 July 2021
Thailand is ready to welcome international vaccinated visitors without quarantine. The reopening country model starts from reopening Phuket from 1 July, Samui, Phangan and Koh Tao from 15 July, followed by other destinations, including Krabi, Phang Nga (Khao Lak), Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Buri Ram in the following months. The plan was approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday June 18 and will be submitted for final approval from the Cabinet. Minister of Tourism and Sports H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said, “Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on June 7th  has set a goal to reopen Thailand to fully vaccinated foreign visitors without quarantine within the next 120 days. If Bangkok or any of the 76 provinces are ready to reopen from October, provided that the local population are inoculated, and the infection rate is at no more than 20-30 cases daily.” This gives hope and confidence to the Thai tourism industry as well as to ensure the safety of the Thais and international visitors. Timeline for reopening Thailand July – August 2021 The ‘Island Approach’ will begin with Phuket from 1 July, followed by Surat Thani, including Samui-Phangan-Tao from 15 July. The approach will continue in August with an ‘Extension’ concept to be introduced. For Example, travel to Phuket and combine with Krabi, including Phi Phi, Koh Ngai and Railay or Phang Nga (Khao Lak and Koh Yao). September 2021 From September, certain areas in Chiang Mai, Chonburi (Pattaya) and Buri Ram) will be opened for vaccinated tourists without quarantine. Chiang Mai: Mueang, Mae Rim, Mae Tang and Doi Tao Districts Chon Buri (Pattaya): Neo Pattaya, Pattaya City and Bang Lamung and Sattahip Districts Buri Ram: Mueang District and the Chang Arena. October 2021 and onwards From October,  Bangkok, Cha-Am and Hua Hin, as well as any other Thai destinations that are ready, will be reopened to vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine. TAT is also considering the reopening of other destinations with nearby tourist islands, including Pattaya (Ko Lan) and the provinces in the Eastern Economic Corridor (Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong). Guidelines for reopening Phuket, Samui, Phang Ngan and Koh Tao Pre-arrival Visitors must travel 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). They must also have already stayed in the said countries/regions no less than 21 days before the travel date. They must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine registered with the MoPH or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before the travel date, and must have a vaccine certificate to verify their vaccination; Children under 6 years of age are allowed when travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians; Travellers who have a history of COVID-19 infection must also be fully vaccinated no less than 14 days before the travel date; Travellers must have a medical certificate with an RT-PCR laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before departure; Travellers must have a COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000. Travellers who are qualified and equipped with the required documents are advised to submit an application for the Certificate of Entry (COE) via www.entrythailand.go.th Arrival Undergo Immigration and Customs procedures, and a COVID-19 screening, including RT-PCR tests; Download and install the alert application; Go directly to your reserved hotel to wait for the test results; Arrivals to Phuket must check-in at the pre-booked SHA Plus-certified accommodation establishment; Arrivals to Ko Samui must check-in at alternative local quarantine (ALQ) facilities; If tested negative for COVID-19, travellers to Phuket can go anywhere in Phuket. Travellers to Ko Samui can leave their room for facilities and services within their accommodation only. Stay For travellers to Phuket: Travellers who wish to visit Phuket only, no minimum stay is required but they must leave Phuket (Thailand) for another country before the intended departure date. For travellers 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 domestically. For travellers to Ko Samui: During the 1st-3rd nights, travellers can leave their room for facilities and services within their accommodation only. During the 4th-7th nights, travellers can travel on specified routes within Ko Samui only. During the 8th-14th nights, travellers can travel between Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao. Undergo a COVID-19 test using an RT-PCR method per the MoPH’s guidelines; Travellers 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 – alert application. 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.