It has finally been officially announced that Thailand is scheduled to re-open to international tourists from July 1st, 2021.
The announcement was made by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on march 26th, 2021, following a meeting of the Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) chaired by Prime Minister General Prayth Chan-o-cha.
The Approved plan is to allow vaccinated tourists to return to select destination in Thailand, starting with Phuket, without the need for quarantine.
International arrivals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to arrival in Thailand, and must stay in Phuket a minimum of 7 nights before travelling to other parts of the country.
The plan is to test international travel with reduced restrictions in Phuket first before opening further destinations to internationa arrivals. Phang Nga, i.e. Khao Lak is planned to open to international arrivals a month later in August.
How will it work?
The “Phuket Sandbox” model entry requirements are as follow;
• All arrivals must be from low-medium risk countries as specified by the Thai Ministry of Public Health.
• Arrivals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a government approved vaccine, 14 days to 1 year prior to travelling to Thailand.
• All arrivals must have a PCR test less than 72 hours before departure.
• Children under 12 years old and are travelling with their parents or guardian do not require a vaccination certificate.
• Children aged between 12-18 years old must undergo a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival. – Estimated cost 1,200-1,500 Baht.
• Anyone wishing to travel outside to other parts of Thailand must first stay a minimum of 14 nights in a SHA+ approved hotel in Phuket before traveling to another province.
• For tourists wishing to remain in Phuket for their entire trip, there is no minimum stay required.
• Non-vaccinated children aged between 6 to 18 years old must be accompanied by full vaccinated parents or guardians and must be tested upon arrival.
• Non-vaccinated children younger than 6 years old will not be required to undergo testing
Once in Thailand tourists must download the official “Thailand Plus” tracing app and undergo a RT-PCR Test on around day 5. After staying in Phuket for 14 days in SHA approved hotels tourists may travel to other areas of Thailand provided, they have a negative RT-PCR Test result. there is however no minimum length of stay for those wanting to stay in Phuket only and not visit other areas of Thailand. Tourists may use the services of SHA approved hotels, tour operators, transfer operators and other service providers.
Discovery Travel Limited Travel is both SHA and WTTC approved.
Before departing Thailand, tourists will need to acquire a RT-PCR Test and be mindful of the entry requirements of their next destination.
Currently the plans are focused on tourists arriving and staying in Phuket. However, it is expected that Phang Nga (Khao Lak) will follow the same or very similar requirements.
Please note, the details published above are consistent with official announcements.
As this is a pilot project there are still many changes and additions to the requirements being made to ensure the success and safety of the project.