A guide to Thailand’s “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” program
As of August 16th, 2021, visitors planning a trip to Phuket can now apply to continue their travel to another approved destination in Southern Thailand through the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” program. This can be incredibly enticing to any traveler or expat from abroad.
So if you are planning a trip to Thailand via Phuket, this guide by Pacific Prime Thailand has what you need to know about the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” program. Read on to learn more!
About the “Phuket Sandbox” program
The “Phuket Sandbox” program was launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in partnership with the Phuket Tourist Association on July 1st, 2021. The aim of the pilot scheme has been to kickstart the local economy and be an example for other tourist destinations across the country to follow.
Through this program, fully vaccinated visitors of an FDA-approved vaccine can visit the famous island destination without undergoing the standard quarantine requirement in Thailand but must still stay in a SHA Plus-certified accommodation/hotel. Additionally, visitors must undergo three COVID-19 screening tests during their stay and remain on the island for up to 14 days. Afterwhich, travelers can travel domestically to other parts of the country.
However, the latest “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” program promises to be even more appealing to international travelers to the Kingdom due to the choice of traveling to other destinations in Southern Thailand.
How is the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” different from the “Phuket Sandbox” program
As the name suggests, the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” program is merely an extension to the “Phuket Sandbox” program, which allows eligible international visitors to reduce their mandatory stay in Phuket from 14 to 7 days, and then continue another seven nights in one of the following destinations:
- Krabi (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, or Railay Beach)
- Phang-Nga (Khao Lak or Koh Yao)
- Surat Thani ( also part of the “Samui Plus” programme – Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, or Koh Tao).
“The Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension program signifies the progress of Thailand’s plan to gradually reopen to fully vaccinated international travelers within the set time frame. The launch of the Phuket Sandbox from July 1st, Samui Plus from July 15th, and Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension from August 16th will lead the way to the reopening of more pilot destinations, which are currently preparing appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of both the tourists and local people.” – Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor
Obtaining a ‘Transfer Form’ for the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension”
As of the time of writing, the existing entry measures in place for the “Phuket Sandbox” program remain unchanged for the 7+7 program. This means you will still need to follow the entry requirements for the “Phuket Sandbox” program. The first seven mandatory days must be in Phuket so that two COVID-19 tests can be conducted on Day 0 and Day 6/7.
However, if you’re planning to continue your trip to one of the approved destinations in Southern Thailand, you will need to obtain a ‘Transfer Form’ from your hotel. This form should also include the negative results of the two COVID-19 tests.*
*This is subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation in Phuket and other destinations in Southern Thailand. We advise readers to follow the local news and adhere to reliable sources, such as TAT Newsroom, in case of sudden changes to inter-provincial travel.
How to get from Phuket to the other destinations in Southern Thailand?
Be advised that visitors can travel to one of the selected areas in Krabi, Phang-Nga, or Surat Thani via approved routes and modes of transport only.*
Krabi (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, or Railay Beach)
These destinations in Krabi can be reached by SHA Plus-certified boat and ferry services from approved piers. Speak to a staff member at your SHA Plus-certified accommodation/hotel for details on operators in the area.
Surat Thani (Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, or Koh Tao)
These destinations in Surat Thani can be reached via Bangkok Airways’ direct domestic flight on the Phuket-Koh Samui route. See Bangkok Airways for further details.
Phang-Nga (Khao Lak)
Khao Lak can be reached by one of many SHA Plus-certified car transfer services. For details on services available, speak to a member of staff at your hotel/accommodation.
*If in doubt, contact the TAT Contact Centre 1672 to get additional information and assistance relating to Thailand’s tourism and travel arrangements.
What happens after Day 14 of the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” program?
Once you have completed your 7-night extension in either Krabi, Phang-Nga, or Surat Thani, you can choose to stay or move on. The choice is yours whether to fly back home or extend your journey to another part of Thailand.
When making your journey to the airport to depart from Thailand, you must have your booking details ready to show authorities if they ask. And depending on your booking details, the airports could be either Phuket or Samui International Airport. If you are unsure about your travel arrangements, speak to a staff member at your accommodation or hotel.
Flying to another part of Thailand
Provided you have tested negative for your third COVID-19 test (conducted on Day 12-13), you can ask your accommodation/hotel to issue a ‘Release Form’. This form, along with your negative Covid-19 test result, will allow you to travel to another part of Thailand.
Note: Given that the rest of Thailand is still dealing with notable cases of COVID-19, you are reminded to continue with the D-M-H-T-T-A precautions, as shown below.
- D – Distancing from others when in public – at least 2 meters apart if possible.
- M – Mask wearing when in public or with people who are likely to be infected.
- H – Handwashing with water and soap. If unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
- T – Temperature check at every checkpoint.
- T – Testing for COVID-19 if you feel that you have developed symptoms.
- A – Alert the authorities on the downloaded Thailand Plus app application.
Secure insurance with Pacific Prime Thailand
At Pacific Prime Thailand, we can offer more than just quality medical insurance plans for expats and travelers in Thailand, such as expat health insurance and international health insurance. Our trusted advisors can also offer impartial advice across many other types of health insurance plans, including:
- 5 top tips on how to find the best health insurance in Thailand
- How to select health insurance in Thailand
If you are unsure of which plan to purchase, our advisors can help by listening to your requirements. After which, they will help you compare several plans and select a suitable plan that matches your needs and budget.
Feel free to contact us for a free quote today!
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