After that the Thai government has confirmed that The Country’s reopening Plan will remain the Same despite the Spike of COVID 19 cases around the country, more details have been announced about how the travelers’ journey will be like when visiting Phuket under the Sandbox Program.
Who is Eligible to travel under the Phuket Sandbox Program?
- Vaccinated Travelers from Low and Medium Risk Countries (As per the listing of The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand). In addition, The Traveler have to have been Staying in these countries for not less than 21 Days before the date of Departure.
- Travelers will have to be Vaccinated 14 Days to 1 Year Before the date of Arrival. The Vaccine type has to be accepted by either The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand or The WHO (World Health organization).
- For Children under 6 Years Old and Traveling with their Parents, They will not need to Present a Vaccine Certificate upon arrival
- For Children and teenagers aged between 6 and 18 years Old (Under 18), They will need to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival at Phuket international Airport on their Own Expenses.
- People traveling by Air or Sea are Eligible for Phuket Sandbox.
What Happens when You arrive to Phuket and During Your Stay?
Before Traveling, Travelers must have the below Documents ready to be able to travel:
- Negative PCR test result within 72 Hours Before Departure
- Insurance Covering at least 100,000 USD against COVID 19 Treatment expenses
- Vaccination Proof.
- SHABA Confirmation Letter with QR Code from a SHA Plus Hotel.
- COE (Certificate of Entry).
- Visa (If Required).
Below is a sample of How SHABA Confirmation received from SHA Plus Hotel Looks Like:
Upon arrival at Phuket International Airport
The AOT (Airports of Thailand), took clear Photos that clarify how the International Arrival Process to Phuket will be Like. The Below Photos Explain the Whole Process:
After finishing all of this Process as explained in the Photos above and Downloading and activating the Thailand Plus Mobile Application, you will be allowed to go to your Hotel (with SHA Plus Certificate). Transfer From Phuket International Airport to the Hotel must be operated by a SHA Plus Approved Tour/ Bus Operated. (Royal Vacation).
During your Stay
Required COVID Tests
Guests will undergo maximum of 3 COVID 19 tests during their Stay (It depends on the Stay Duration). The First test will be conducted at the Airport upon arrival as mentioned above, the Second test will be conducted on Day 6 and third will be on Day 12. The Second and the Third Tests will be Conducted in Specified Locations as Shown in the Below Map:
Activities and Sightseeing During the Stay
Guests are allowed to do activities and tours only with a SHA Certified tour Operator. (All tours must be inside Phuket Province). When Traveling within Phuket, Guests must behave with the standards of DMHTT( Distancing – Mask wearing – Hand Washing – Testing – Thailand Plus). Phuket has also eased and unlocked restrictions on 10 Different Tourism related Activities, So tourists can enjoy experiencing them during their Stay.
Requirements During and after the Stay
Tourists must report Daily on the Thailand Plus mobile application
The Owner of the Hotel has to report the guests names to the Immigration during their Stay at the property
Guests must stay at least 14 Nights in Phuket before traveling to any other Province around the Country or they can Stay 7 Nights in Phuket and then 7 Nights in one of the Extension Destinations before moving to Other Province outside of these cities. They will need to do an RT PCR test 72 hours prior to Departure. In addition, they must present it with the COVID 19 Vaccination certificate to the Checking Point at this Destination.
Tourists are allowed to stay less than 14 Nights in Phuket and Travel back to their home country or any other country. However, they are not allowed to travel to another province in Thailand before finishing 14 Nights in Phuket.
Phuket’s Target & Preparations for Sandbox
Opening Phuket under the Sandbox Project is planned based on 4Ts model. This 4Ts model is Designed to Make sure that the island is well prepared to receive International Tourists with no Risk. (Targeted Segment – Testing Protocol – Tracing Application – Treating Capacity).
The Thai Government is Expecting to receive 129,000 PAX From the Phuket Sandbox Project between July and September. That would generate around 11,492.2 Million Thai Baht.
The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand), is Expecting more tourists from The Long Haul Markets more than the ones generated from the Neighbors Market. This Can be justified for many reasons. First of all, the vaccination rollout in the Long haul Countries is much faster than in the Neighbor Countries. Second of all, The Restrictions for entering the neighbor countries are hard and Quarantine is still required. However, in the Long Haul markets the situation is Different and more flexible.
To enter Phuket from July to September, The Below Testing rules will be applied:
A) International Travelers:
- Vaccinated Adult (Over 18 Years), will need a RT PCR Test on Day 6 and Day 12 during Stay.
- Non Vaccinated Adult (Over 18 Years), Will need to stay at ALQ Hotel for 14 days (Alternative Local Quarantine).
- Youth aged between 6 and 18 Years, Will need to undergo a Rapid Antigen test at Phuket International Airport upon arrival on his own Expenses
- Children Under 6 Years, Can Enter Phuket with their Parents without the need for Tests.
B) Domestic Travelers:
- Vaccinated Adult (Over 18 Years), Can enter Phuket without the need of Doing any tests
- Non Vaccinated Adult (Over 18 Years), will need to do a Rapid Antigen Test at the Check Point on his own Expenses
- Youth aged between 6 and 18 Years, Will need to do a Rapid Antigen test at Phuket International Airport upon arrival on his own Expenses
- Children Under 6 Years, Can Enter Phuket with their Parents with no need for Tests.
Tracing Application (Thailand Plus Application)
All travelers must Download and Activate the Thailand Plus Application on their Phones. This Application will keep You updated on your current Situation by Changing the QR Code Color appearing on the App. Green Means Safe, Yellow Means Low risk and Red means High Risk. The Application will be able to track whether during your journey you have been in contact with a COVID 19 Patient or not. In case you have been in Contact, then you will receive a Message on the Application to recommend you to be investigated and get tested by a surveillance Rapid Response team as Soon as Possible.
The Island is well Prepared for receiving Patients in case of Any COVID 19 Infections. Total of 9 Hospitals are Operating, 5 Public Hospitals and 4 Private Hospitals with Total of: 20 Beds for ICU (Intensive Care Units), 40 Beds at Cohort Ward, 300 Beds in Field Hospital, 120 Beds for Hospitels, and 500 Beds for Local Quarantines.
Risks of Infections should be Very Low by the Time of Operating the Phuket Sandbox Project for multiple reasons. First of all, All International Arrivals Will either be Vaccinated or in Quarantine. Second of All, most of Phuket Population Should be Vaccinated by that time and Herd Immunity should be already achieved.