Phuket Sandbox: Here’s What You Need to Know

Miss the sun-kissed island of Phuket and the unmatched joy of travelling? We have some good news for you. Under the Phuket Sandbox program, the Thai government and Tourism Authority of Thailand now allow vaccinated international tourists to travel to Phuket without having to quarantine.

After more than a year of lockdowns and isolation, travellers are yearning to recreate memories with their family and loved ones, indulge their sense of adventure, and find some normalcy and balance in life once again. Travellers heading to Thailand will witness an entirely reset Phuket. Since the start of the pandemic, the island’s natural resources have flourished. The beaches are pristine, the Andaman Sea is crystal-clear, and strict hygiene protocols are being followed in our villas, with staff being vaccinated on priority and always masked on duty. We are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

The Thai government and Tourism Authority of Thailand require all travellers to get inoculated prior to their trip to Thailand. Vaccinated travellers will have more freedom to roam, while those who are not vaccinated can still travel to Phuket but will be required to stay in SHA+ certified properties for two weeks.

Planning to travel to Phuket? Here are some things you should know. Do keep in mind that the Phuket Sandbox program is subject to change as the Covid-19 situation develops and evolves.

Here’s what you need to know

Tourists from the approved list of low and medium-risk countries are now welcome to travel to Phuket without the need to quarantine. Vaccinated foreign travellers and their children must stay in Phuket for at least 7 days, after which they may travel to Koh Samui or stay on in Phuket. After 14 days of arrival, they are free to travel throughout the Kingdom. Plan to spend Week 1 at one of our villas magnificent villas in Phuket and you will never want to leave. Enjoy the luxury of privacy and safety, with enviable space to spread out and relax, before heading out to explore the white sand beaches of Koh Samui, where our sumptuous elite havens await your arrival for Week 2.

Protocols and testing

Vaccinated travellers will be allowed to partake in activities in Phuket but must strictly adhere to standard protocols such as social distancing, mask-wearing, hand washing and Covid-19 testing.

Visitors will be tested on arrival at the airport and then again on Day 6 or 7 and Day 12 or 13. If any of these three tests comes back positive, they will be transferred to the hospital. If the RT-PCR test is negative, you are free to roam around Phuket or enjoy a one-day tour to islands off Phuket such as Koh Phi Phi, the Koh Yao islands, or even a day trip to Phang Nga Bay. If you plan to travel to Koh Samui for Week 2, your last RT-PCR test will be done in Koh Samui. The Elite Concierge will be happy to help organise the logistics for your trip.

Duration of stay

Under the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension Program, travellers to Phuket can now stay on Phuket island for the first 7 days and move on to an extension area such as Koh Samui for the next 7 days. Thereafter, they are free to travel to other provinces in Thailand such as Bangkok or Chiang Mai. RT-PCR tests must be done 72-hours before departing for Phuket. The results of the RT-PCR test, plus a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, must be presented at a checkpoint upon arrival to the next destination.

It should be noted that travellers are allowed to stay in Phuket for less than 7 days and travel back to their country of origin or another country, but a 14-day stay in Phuket (plus an extension area) must be completed before travelling to other destinations in Thailand.

Vaccination requirements under the Phuket Sandbox Program

Before boarding a flight to Phuket, vaccinated travellers from low and medium-risk countries must have received complete doses of vaccines at least 14 days in advance. Upon arrival at the Phuket International Airport, travellers will be required to present their vaccine certificate at the checkpoint. For those travelling with minors below the age of 18, a rapid antigen test is required at their own expense. This rapid antigen test may cost between 1,200 to 1,500 Thai baht.

Domestic vs International travellers

Protocols differ for international and domestic travellers. We’ve highlighted further information below.

For International Travellers

  • Vaccinated international travellers over 18 years of age must undergo three RT-PCR tests – on arrival, on Day 6 or 7, and on Day 12 or 13.
  • Non-vaccinated international travellers over 18 years of age will need to do an RT-PCR test upon arrival and stay at an ALQ (Alternative Local Quarantine) Hotel for 14 days.
  • International travellers between 6 and 18 years of age will need to undergo a rapid antigen test at Phuket International Airport upon arrival. Children under 6 can travel to Phuket with their parents and do not need to undergo any test.

For Domestic Travellers

  • Vaccinated domestic travellers over 18 years of age can enter Phuket without the need for any test.
  • Non-vaccinated domestic travellers, including minors below the age of 18, will need to do a rapid antigen test at the checkpoint. Children under 6 can enter Phuket with their parents without the need for a test.

App and contact tracing

All travellers to Phuket, whether international or domestic, must download the Thailand Plus Mobile App for contact tracing throughout their stay. The app uses GPS and Bluetooth to detect locations of mobile phones and check-in records via QR code scanning.

Safe at an elite haven

Once all checkpoints and immigration requirements are cleared at Phuket International Airport, you will be transferred directly to your elite haven to begin that much-anticipated holiday.

Immerse yourself in a world of luxury and privacy with exclusive use of all villa facilities and expect a restful holiday experience socially distanced from the crowds. We have implemented strict hygiene controls and cleaning procedures, and our villas are meticulously sanitised. Our SHA+ villas reassure guests that their holiday home adheres to the protocols and guidelines outlined by the Thai Government and the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA).

Our professional, on-ground staff members are always masked on duty, are routinely tested and are being progressively vaccinated on priority so you can relax and holiday in peace. We appreciate the trust you place in us and are committed to offering you a safe sanctuary for a truly memorable vacation.

As Phuket opens up its arms to international travellers, there’s no better time than now to secure that dream villa for a vacation to look forward to. Get in touch with our reservations team or have a look at ongoing promotions and offers to choose one that suits you and your family best. We’re all set to welcome you back. See you soon!

Disclaimer: The information stated here has been collected from published and reputable sources. As news about Covid-19 is constantly changing, we advise you to check the latest and most accurate updates through verified government websites.