No announcement yet.

FAQ: The Phuket Sandbox Pilot Program

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • FAQ: The Phuket Sandbox Pilot Program

    Phuket Sandbox Travel Requirements
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Sandbox-Info.jpg Views:	0 Size:	89.3 KB ID:	407

    What exactly is Phuket Sandbox?

    Phuket Sandbox is a pilot program launched by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in partnership with Phuket Tourist Association in hopes of reviving the country’s severely-affected tourism industry. Through this scheme, vaccinated tourists are allowed to visit the popular island destination without having to undergo quarantine. Aspiring travelers are required to stay in an accommodation with a SHA+ certificate issued by the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration and to undergo three COVID-19 screening tests during their stay.

    Who can travel to Phuket from abroad ?
    • Vaccinated Thai and foreign travelers from listed countries
    • Unvaccinated children under 18 years old traveling with vaccinated parents
    • NOTE: Unvaccinated adult travelers will be required to undergo mandatory quarantine at any AQ Hotels in Phuket for 14 days
    • NOTE: Travelers from un-listed countries (vaccinated or not) is not eligible for Phuket Sandbox and must undergo a mandatory quarantine
    • NOTE: Full vaccination at least 14 days prior to your departure to Thailand and not more than 12 months.
    • Flights to Thailand
      At present, certain airlines are permitted to operate semi-commercial flights to Thailand. Airlines such as El Al Israel, Cathay, Qatar, Emirates, Etihad, THAI, and Singapore Airlines operate flights to Phuket on a daily basis. TIP: If your flight to Phuket is not full, you may request the cabin crew for you to be seated two to three rows away from other passengers. Just in case one of the passengers tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival, then, you do not need to be isolated or quarantined at your own expense.
    • Vaccination Certificate
      You have to proof your vaccination with Astra Zeneca, Biontech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna etc.. no less than 14-days before departure
    • ThailandPlus App
      Please download and install the application on your mobile phone.You’ll need this as a location tracker when traveling in Phuket - and beyond
    • PCR Test
      Obtain a Covid-19 test no more than 72-hours before your arrival in Phuket
    • Covid-19 Insurance
      With the new wave of Covid-19 in Thailand, Covid-19 Insurance is a mandatory requirement for travelers. It acts as another level of security to ensure that you can cover all costs in case you are diagnosed with Covid-19 during your stay in Thailand. It covers you for a minimum of US$100,000 policy and it must cover the duration of your stay in Thailand.
    • Certificate of Entry | CoE
      Officially issued by a Thai Embassy or Thai Consulate
    • Register with Entry-Thailand
      Please use the link below
    • ASQ Hotel Pre-Booking
      Stay at one of the official Sandbox Hotels. Once your booking is confirmed, you’ll receive a SHABA (SHA Booking Authentication) QR code. Have this code with you at all times; you’ll need to show it many times throughout the entire process.
    • Covid-19 Testing
      Book Pre-paid RT-PCR Covid-19 tests in Phuket through this link. You need your SHABA certification for this. Each visitor still needs to take three Covid tests and test negative during their first 14 days in the kingdom. The three tests will cost B8,000 (around US$240). This will be refunded if you are denied a CoE.
    Important Things to Remember
    • You must stay in a SHA+ accredited hotel in Phuket only.
    • You must fly to Phuket from abroad - without a transit in Bangkok or other Thai Destinations.
    • If you are staying less than 14 days in Phuket, you must fly out of Phuket to an international destination.
    If you are staying 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

    What do I have to do once I arrive in Phuket ?
    • Go through immigration and customs procedures
    • Take an RT-PCR test
    • Register with the present the Thailand + app to the authorities
    • Check-in at a pre-booked accommodation with a SHA Plus certification
    • Go from the airport directly to your accommodation using the SHA+ certified transfer service. No stops or visits along the way allowed.
    What if I test positive with COVID-19 upon arrival ?

    You’ll be isolated at one of the ASQ (alternative state quarantine) hotels, which may not be the same hotel you’ve booked, at your own expense. Your insurance should cover this, though.

    What can I do during my stay in Phuket ?

    If you tested negative at the airport, you’re relatively free to start your vacation on the island. You will have to undergo two more RT-PCR tests, on day 6 and day 13 of your stay, at your hotel’s partner hospital. You’ve pre-paid for these, so there shouldn’t be any additional expenses. You would need to stay in Phuket for at least 14 days before traveling to other domestic destinations in Thailand. In Phuket, you will need to stay at one hotel for at least seven consecutive days. If your second test comes out negative, you’re free to transfer to another SHA+ hotel in Phuket for another seven days. Bear in mind though, that you will still have to take a third RT-PCR test at your next destination. If your third test comes out negative on your 13th day, then you’re free to travel to other domestic destinations in Thailand. In case of stays less than 14 days, you can only fly out of Phuket or Koh Samui to an international destination. During your stay at SHA+ hotels, you are required to meet the SHA+ Manager at your hotel every day regarding your itinerary. Wearing a face mask is required when out in public.

    What about the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Program ?

    Under the new Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension program, launched on August 16.2021, fully vaccinated international tourists can fly into the popular island destination and stay for only seven (7) days instead of the previously mandated 14 days. After spending a week in Phuket, they can travel to nearby destinations, including Krabi, Phang-Nga or Surat Thani (which is home to Koh Samui, another well-known destination and host of a similar Samui Plus tourist initiative). They would have to stay in these new destinations for another seven nights. To be able to travel within this program, you must apply for a special CoE for Phuket Sandbox 7x7. If you are a regular Sandbox CoE holder, you can't hop between islands yet, sorry.

    Can I travel to Phuket from Bangkok ?

    No, you can’t. Phuket has just elevated its COVID-19 “wall” to the highest level. The province isn’t even allowing domestic visitors to fly in until the end of August 2021. All domestic flights from Bangkok have been suspended and the main road access has been sealed off.

    Prepaid PCR Testing:
    T8 Form:
    Entry Thailand Registration:
    Thailand + App:
    Official Sandbox Hotels:
    CoE Certificate Application:
    Last edited by Topgun; 08-15-2021, 09:53 PM.

  • #2
    List of Approved Countries for the Phuket Sandbox Program

    Updated: July 31, 2021
    • Albania
    • Andorra
    • Antigua & Barbuda
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Azerbaijan
    • Bahrain*
    • Barbados
    • Belgium
    • Bhutan
    • Brunei
    • Bulgaria
    • Cambodia
    • Canada*
    • Chile
    • China
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Dominica
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hong Kong
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Israel
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Kuwait
    • Laos
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Macao
    • Malta
    • Mauritius
    • Monaco
    • Morocco
    • Myanmar
    • Mongolia
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Qatar
    • Romania
    • Russia*
    • San Marino
    • Serbia*
    • Singapore
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • South Korea
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • Turkey
    • UAE
    • UK
    • USA
    • Vietnam
    • Uzbekistan


    • #3
      CCSA approves “7+7” island hop extension to “Phuket Sandbox”

      The “7+7” extension to the “Phuket Sandbox” reopening scheme has been approved by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, allowing travellers from overseas who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter Phuket, stay on the island for (7) seven days, and then travel on a sealed route to specified destinations in Surat Thani, Krabi, and Phang Nga.

      Under the “Phuket Sandbox” scheme, which was launched on July 01. 2021 travellers must stay on the island province for 14 days as a substitute for the quarantine period for unvaccinated travellers. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been pushing for the CCSA to approve the "7+7" plan to allow the so-called “Sandboxers” to travel on sealed routes to specified destinations. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the CCSA report in English, said the new measures will be in effect tomorrow.

      ”The CCSA has approved the new measures for the Phuket Sandbox scheme, starting from August 17.2021 So those who joined the scheme, flying from abroad, can now stay in Phuket for the first (7) seven days. After receiving the transfer form from relevant authorities, they can travel to other tourist destinations in the southern provinces in Thailand.”
      The "7+7" extension connects with the following reopening schemes.
      • Samui Plus
        In Surat Thani, islands open to the travelers include Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao.
      • Krabi More Amazing
        In Krabi, the popular tourist destinations Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai and Railay Beach are open.
      • Phang Nga Prompt
        In Phang Nga, Khao Lak, Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi are included.

      The plan was approved during a CCSA general meeting chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.


      • #4
        Phuket entry requirements for domestic travellers

        Updated August 18. 2021

        Phuket officials have amended the requirements for domestic travel to the island, allowing some categories to enter. The measures are in place until at least August 31. 2021 Domestic arrivals who meet the criteria below can enter Phuket via land, sea, or air.
        • Anyone returning to Phuket who can produce a house registration book that confirms they are a resident of the island or anyone who can show evidence of being permanently employed on the island
        • Foreign tourists in the country under the Phuket sandbox scheme or other tourism project. Drivers or service providers who can prove they are operating as part of an authorised tourism scheme, such as the sandbox.
        • Anyone arriving for essential business who cannot postpone the visit. Anyone else travelling for essential reasons, who will be admitted on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of checkpoint bosses.
        All domestic travellers who meet the criteria above must be fully vaccinated with Sinovac, Sinopharm or AstraZeneca – or a combination of Sinovac and AstraZeneca. Other approved vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson, which must have been administered at least 14 days prior to arrival on the island. Recovered Covid-19 patients will be required to have a negative PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of travel.


        • #5
          Current Phuket Status

          Updated August 18. 2021

          Currently, Phuket is seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19-positive cases per day. As a result, the authorities have implemented several measures regarding the operations of certain venues to contain the spread.
          • The following venues have been ordered to shut down:
            • Entertainment venues, such as pubs, bars, karaoke, massage parlors and bathhouses
            • Fighting cock/bull/fish venues, horse racetracks and racetracks of all types
            • Snooker and billiard venues
            • Arcades and Internet cafés
            • Boxing stadiums, boxing gyms and martial art gyms
            • Public and private swimming pools
            • Educational institutions of all types, except private schools where the number of students per class does not exceed five people
          • Shopping malls and community malls are still allowed to operate as usual.
          • Convenience stores can operate between 04:00 and 23:00.
          • Restaurants can provide services for diners but cannot serve alcoholic beverages.
          • All kinds of indoor sports venues are allowed to open until 21:00, but no activities requiring physical contact are permitted. Audience and gatherings are prohibited.
          The Phuket Sandbox is in many ways an experiment designed to rejuvenate the Thai tourism industry amidst the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the organizers have prepared five worst-case scenarios that would lead to the cancellation of the scheme.
          • More than 90 positive cases are logged within one week.
          • Infections are detected in at least three districts or more than six sub-districts of Phuket.
          • More than three clusters are found without indication of origin.
          • The number of infected individuals doesn’t exceed 80 percent of available beds in Phuket hospitals.
          • The outbreak is uncontrollable.
          A four-step measurement is also in preparation in case of inevitable cancellation:
          • Reduce the number of activities allowed on the island.
          • Narrow down the list of areas tourists can go to in order to contain the spread.
          • Designate accommodations exclusively for quarantine.
          • Cancel the Sandbox program.
          Get more information on Phuket Sandbox from the TAT’s official website.


          • #6
            Revised Rules for Cancellation and/or Modification of the 7+7 Sandbox Program

            Update August 20.2021

            A new updated Phuket Provincial Order revises the international reopening scheme to include the new Sandbox 7+7 program but also slips in a revision to the parameters for cancellation or modification of the Phuket Sandbox. The order issued yesterday mostly revises the rules to include conditions for travelling to other destinations in Thailand after the first 7 days in Phuket.

            But amid swelling Covid-19 infections, the order also quietly removes a few requisites for the cancellation or revision of the Sandbox program as some had been surpassed already. The original threshold of 90 infections in one week and infections in 3 districts and 6 subdistricts have all been removed now that the rolling weekly Covid-19 infection numbers have passed 500. The limit of 80% of hospital beds being occupied has also be removed and reworded into a more vague qualification. In fact, all the criteria for revising or ceasing the Sandbox scheme have been laid out in very open-ended terms, with 3 points to consider.

            First, the ability to accommodate infected Sandbox tourists must be considered and will be estimated by bed occupancy rates for medical facilities that accept foreigners. Second, the same ability must be considered for local people, this time accounting for all available hospital beds in Phuket. Finally, the resources for disease control and the epidemiology of Covid-19 must be considered in deciding any actions to take.

            The possible actions remain essentially the same, from closing activities and facilities to restricting movement with sealed routes or even sealing off hotels to a more formal quarantine, to closing the Sandbox to any new incoming travellers who hadn’t already received their Certificate of Entry. The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee will review the data and situation in Phuket every day and consider revisions every week or two.

            And for rule-breakers within the Sandbox plan, the violation warnings were restated, along with an additional threat of deportation and possible banning from Thailand for those who attempt to leave Phuket early or don’t comply with medical treatments. Thai nationals would face criminal charges under the Communicable Disease Act, and any tour operators or transportation providers could have their licenses and operating permits revoked for participating in violations.

            It is obvious that the current government is not capable to keep the pandemic under control. Instead they are modifying rules and regulations as deemed necessary and as they may fit to run this program even if the number of infections are getting totally out of line again. Needless to say - a vacation in Phuket is not recommendable at all and Thailand is with around 18.000 Covid-19 infections and over 200 deaths per day !! one of the worst hit and performing countries in the world. So far not even 10% of the Thai citizen are vaccinated and it's just a matter of time until the current figures are exploding.


            • #7
              Phang Nga asks for tourists to be allowed travel directly from Phuket Airport

              Phang Nga’s tourism operators are urging the government to allow foreign tourists to travel directly to the province from Phuket airport, skipping the 7+7 extension scheme. Pongsakorn Ketprapakorn from the Tourism Council of Phang Nga says tourists are being put off by the bureaucracy involved in the certificate of entry application process and the 7+7 scheme which mandates that tourists must first spend 7 days on Phuket before they can travel to Phang Nga. According to a Bangkok Post report, Pongsakorn says tour operators have reported that Scandinavian tourists want to travel directly to Phang Nga, without having to first spend time in Phuket.

              “We need an entry relaxation to let travellers proceed to Phang Nga after landing at Phuket airport, via sealed vehicles, which is expected to draw more tourists.”
              Meanwhile, German operator TUI Group says there is a risk tourists will be deterred by complicated entry requirements and opt for other destinations instead. This would be bad news for the Phang Nga tourism sector, with operators counting on the return of flights from Russia, hoping this will lead to 20,000 room nights booked in the last quarter of the year.

              The approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine has led to increased interest in Thailand, according to Russian tour operators Anex Tour and Pegas Touristik, who say there has been an uptake in enquiries about Khao Lak. Pongsakorn has noticed this too, as he is also a director at the Khao Lak Emerald Beach Resort and Spa. He says the resort has received inquiries from Russians for 2,500 room nights per month in the last quarter of the year.
              Pongsakorn says the 7+7 extension scheme has not boosted Phang Nga tourism by much, adding that 70% of the region’s SHA Plus hotels have re-opened, but with very few tourists.

              “Tourism operators are working on promoting Khao Lak surf town to attract not only Russian tourists who usually visit surfing spots in Bali, New Zealand, and Australia, but also other potential markets with surf cultures like France and Japan.”


              • #8
                “Sandbox” period in Phuket shortened to 7 days for vaccinated travellers

                With the recently relaxed rules on the quarantine period for overseas arrivals, those who enter Thailand under the “Phuket Sandbox” will only be required to stay in the province for seven days instead of the previous 14. The “Sandbox” pilot reopening project allows vaccinated travellers from abroad to roam freely on the island rather than isolate in a hotel.

                The government’s Phuket Information Centre shared a notice on Facebook saying visitors arriving to Phuket through the “Sandbox” project will need to stay at a certified SHA+ hotel for seven days before travelling to other provinces in Thailand. The notice says travellers can now register for a seven-day Certificate of Entry, or COE. The order goes into effect October 01.2021.

                At Monday’s CCSA meeting, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Covid task force approved the reduction of the mandatory quarantine, shortening the isolation period from 14 days to now seven for fully vaccinated travellers. Those who are unvaccinated, or cannot prove their vaccination status, are subject to a quarantine period between 10 to 14 days.

                To be eligible for entry under the “Sandbox,” or the shortened quarantine period of seven days if entering Thailand in another province, travellers need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 14 days before departure.


                • #9
                  Phuket Entry Update from October 01. 2021

                  Starting tomorrow, the rules for entering (and exiting) Phuket are changing. The Phuket Sandbox will be reducing the time arriving international travellers must stay on the island to one week, meaning they won’t need as many Covid-19 tests as well. But revisions also go into effect for domestic travellers and overland entry onto the island, making it easier for tourism to begin to grow again.

                  CHECKPOINT 24/7
                  The checkpoint at Tha Chatchai on the only bridge onto Phuket will now operate 24 hours a day again starting tomorrow according to Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong. The decision was made at a meeting at Provincial Hall yesterday that discussed many aspects of reopening.

                  After previously being restricted to only special cases, now entry to Phuket is permitted by land or by sea for any person who meets the following Covid-19 requirements:
                  • Must be fully vaccinated with 2 doses to enter.
                  • Must register their travel details in advance on where they will receive a QR code to show at the checkpoint.
                  • Must download and run the Mor Chana app on their mobile device with location sharing enabled for the duration of their stay.
                  • Must have a negative Covid-19 test taken within the last week (previous rules required the test within 3 days).
                    • RT-PCR or antigen test is accepted
                    • Residents of Phuket who have tabien baan – house registration documents – can bring their own FDA-approved ATK and take the test in front of checkpoint staff. They will be issued a 7-day certificate on the spot.
                  • Exception: those who have recovered from Covid-19 within the past 6 months.
                  • Exception: rescue workers and emergency medical staff as well as patients travelling into Phuket in an ambulance.
                  Children aged 6 years and under will not be required to be vaccinated or tested for Covid-19. Kids between 6 and 18 years old who are not able to be vaccinated will be required to pass an RT-PCR or antigen test within one week of arrival.

                  VACCINATION TARGET
                  5,060 Moderna vaccines have been provided to Phuket by the Thai Red Cross Society and the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation has selected 5 target groups to receive these vaccines. The demographics targeted include unvaccinated pregnant women, disabled people, and bedridden patients. (The other 2 groups were not specified.) 3,000 people have registered for these vaccines so far, with 2,938 having been accepted, leaving over 2,000 vaccines as yet unclaimed.

                  With the famous Phuket Vegetarian Festival coming in just 6 days, and the Duen Sip Festival following, the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office has requested permission for the PPAO to buy 12,000 antigen test kits for testing at the large events.


                  • #10
                    Phuket, Samui to ease entry restrictions for domestic tourists from this weekend

                    From this weekend, entry restrictions for the islands of Phuket and Samui are being eased for fully vaccinated domestic tourists. Local travellers who can show proof of being fully vaccinated will no longer need to submit to Covid-19 testing to enter Phuket and will no longer have to quarantine after arriving on Samui. The move comes as the government launches phase 3 of the “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme, aimed at boosting domestic tourism. The change comes into effect on Friday for Koh Samui and on Saturday for Phuket.

                    The Pattaya News reports that Phuket governor Narong Woonciew says officials are working on a plan to control the number of locally transmitted infections, while simplifying entry procedures for domestic visitors.

                    “Basically, the result of vaccination and/or Covid-19 swab results that were done before entering must be presented to the authorities. Our tracking application ‘’ must also be installed and developed continuously.”
                    Meanwhile, the governor of Surat Thani, Witchawut Chinto, says domestic tourists and returning residents must be able to show proof of being vaccinated, in addition to a negative result from an antigen test taken no less than 7 days before arrival.

                    “Travellers must also install and register their profile in the ‘Samui Health Pass’ mobile application and present their Mor Chana QR Code before entering and using any services of establishments in the area.”