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Thailand update

What has changed to travel to and inside the Kingdom?

Dear readers,

As usual I try to keep you posted on the latest developments in the region (South East Asia) and Thailand is probably one of the most demanded country by many of you, so here is an update.

Phuket Sandbox

Not much has changed on that front but I recap the concept in case you aren't informed and I add a few important remarks.

  • Who can travel to Phuket from abroad? Vaccinated traveleres from "approved" countries. Please refer to the website of you country's Thai embassy to check if you qualify.

  • What are the requirements?

  1. Vaccine Certificate (full vaccination done at least 14 days prior departure to Thaland and not more than 12 months).

  2. ThailandPlus alert application on your mobile phone (aka MorChana).

  3. RT-PCR COVID19 test before arrival (tested no more than 72h prior arrival).

  4. COVID 19 Insurance (bring a proof, e.g. a letter from the insurance). It should stipulate a coverage of no less than USD 100'000.

  5. Certificate of Entry (aka COE) issued by your local Thai Embassy or Consulate (it is an relatively smooth online process).

  6. Booking confirmation at a SHA+ Hotel in Phuket

  7. Booking confirmation of pre-paid RT-PCR COVID 19 test in Phuket (you will have two tests, one on day 6 or 7 after your arrival, one on day 12 or 13).

The ‘SHA Plus’ Certificate means that at least 70% of staff at the venues and businesses have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Important remarks

  1. You must book (and stay of course) in a SHA+ accredited hotel in Phuket. Your local Thai Embassy or Consulate should have the list on its website. For reference, Agoda has a list but do cross-check with the hotel first that they qualify (just a personal advice): SHA Plus Hotels in Phuket Sandbox (

  2. You must fly to Phuket from abroad directly. No transit in Bangkok.

  3. If you will stay less than 14 days in Phuket, you must fly out of Phuket to an international destination so have your booking ready prior entering Thailand.

  4. If you will stay for 14 days or more in Phuket and Sealed Routes (Samui and Krabi), you will then be able to travel to any domestic destination in Thailand.

New: Phuket Sandbox 7 + 7 Extension

This is a concept introduced recently. Instead of spending 14 days in Phuket, you can spend 7 days only, and spend the last 7 in another province, namely Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, or Railay), Phang-Nga (Ko Yao Noi or Ko Yao Yai, Khao Lak) and Surat Tani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao). Interesting isn't it?

That said, it will take a bit of planning (not too much don't worry) since only certain routes are allowed. The bottom line is that you must embark and disembark at approved piers, using approved ferries and cars, all must be labelled SHA+. This can probably be arranged by your hotel.

To be allowed to travel to the extension areas (the other provinces mentioned earlier), you must obtain a Transfer Form which will be provided by the SHA+ hotel where you stay. It confirms that you spent 7 days there. Needless to say, a negative RT-PCR test but that, you would do one anyway on day 6 or 7.

To travel outside the extension areas, you must obtain a Release Form to confirm your stay in the extension areas for 7 days.

If you stay in the extension areas less than 7 days, you have to proceed directly to Phuket International Airport on the day of departure. When you enter Phuket province, you must provide you flight ticket.

If you stay less than 7 days in the extension areas and want to return to Phuket, dont forget a fresh RT-PCR test done no longer than 72 hours prior entering Phuket province.

A final (important) note

I assume some of you would like to enjoy tours, excursions and other activities (let's take diving as an exemple...)you can do so but only using SHA+ service providers. Here again, check with operator whether they are certified or not. Activites are organized departing from approved piers. I will try to prepare a list of SHA+ diving operators and share it with you in the coming days.

As you can see, it remains a bit complicate to travel but options are here and it can only get better!

I hope this recap will be helpful.


The Diving Bear

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