The ‘Phuket Sandbox’ allows international travellers to visit Phuket province without having to undergo quarantine on arrival. Once you receive your first negative RT-PCR test result you can enjoy travel and leisure activities throughout Phuket. After the first seven nights in Phuket province, you are permitted to travel to other areas of Thailand.
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We understand that you may have questions about the scheme and will do our best to answer them here. Because we are Tourism Thailand UK & Ireland, the information here is aimed specifically at travellers from the UK and Ireland. Different rules may apply if you are travelling from another country. Please also note that different rules apply to those already in Thailand and travelling as a domestic tourist. We have added updates here, but before planning travel to Thailand, we also advise you to check the latest requirements with the Royal Thai Embassy in London and the Tourism Authority of Thailand newsroom.
The requirements listed below are subject to change. We will add any amendments here once confirmed.
Main requirements for Phuket Sandbox
- Apply for Thailand Pass at least 7 days in advance of travel date via this official link: https://tp.consular.go.th/
- Your passport needs at least 6 months validity
- Book an international flight from the UK/Ireland that arrives into Phuket e.g. London-Dubai-Phuket
- From 1 February 2022, transit via Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport is allowed, but only on ‘sealed route’ flights. These flights are operated by Bangkok Airways and are reserved for international travellers. They must be booked on one ticket in conjunction with an international flight into Bangkok. The sealed route flights are:
PG5275: dep BKK 12.00 arr HKT 14.05
PG5279: dep BKK 17.10 arr HKT 19.15
- Travellers aged 18 years and over must have a vaccination certificate confirming that they have received the full dose of vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel
- Travellers 12-17 years old who are travelling to Thailand unaccompanied must get vaccinated with at least one dose of an approved vaccine. Those travelling with parents are exempt from this requirement.
- Travellers 6-11 years old, travelling with parents, are exempt from this requirement.
- Produce proof of negative Covid-19 test from RT-PCR test issued within 72 hours before departure to Thailand (except for children under 6 years old)
- Health insurance required with a minimum coverage of USD $50,000 (or equivalent amount in other currencies) that covers the traveller’s medical expenses for the entire duration of the stay in Thailand
(Thais and foreign expatriates under Thailand’s national healthcare coverage are exempt from this requirement)
- Undergo a RT-PCR test on arrival in Phuket and another on Day 5 or 6 of your stay
- The first test will be carried out at Phuket international airport and needs to be booked in advance via this official website: https://www.thailandpsas.com/
- A confirmed payment for a stay of at least 7 nights at SHA Extra Plus* accommodation
SHA Extra Plus hotels in Phuket
- Travellers will need a SHABA certificate (SHA Plus Booking Authentication System) issued by your hotel. To obtain the SHABA certificate, you may find it easier to book directly with the hotel rather than an online booking site
- Your hotel must arrange a vehicle to pick you up at Phuket airport; you cannot travel to the hotel by yourself
- You can stay at no more than two different hotels in Phuket during the first seven nights
- Travellers must return to their prearranged accommodation on a nightly basis. They are not allowed to stay overnight in any other places.
- UK and Irish passport holders can stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without needing to apply in advance for a visa (visa exempt). If you plan to stay more than 30 days in Thailand you should apply for a visa through this official link at least 4 weeks in advance of the travel date: https://thaievisa.go.th/
- Install the MorChana app on arrival in Thailand:
- After completing 7 nights stay in Phuket and receiving a second negative test result, can travel anywhere in Thailand (subject to any local travel restrictions that may be in place and apply to all travellers)
*SHA Extra Plus hotels are those that meet the Amazing Thailand SHA Plus standard and provide an accommodation service in partnership with certified hospitals for the RT-PCR test. The list of the SHA Extra Plus hotels in Phuket is available here.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is the Thailand Pass and where do I get it?
Thailand Pass is a digital platform aimed at streamlining the entry process for Thailand. From 1 November 2021, Thailand Pass replaces the Certificate of Entry (CoE). Once registered in the new system, travellers will receive a Thailand Pass QR Code to display to the airline and to screening officers at the immigration checkpoint.
How long does it take to process Thailand Pass?
If you meet all the requirements, it should take between 3-5 working days to process your application, but travellers are advised to allow at least 7 working days.
Thailand Pass FAQs
Insurance and visas
Is Covid-19 insurance mandatory?
Yes. You need to have insurance for Covid-19 that covers medical costs up to a minimum of USD 50,000 for the entire duration of your stay in Thailand. If you are travelling with children, they will also need to be covered by insurance. There is some more information here from the Thai General Insurance Association*:
*This link is for more information and not an endorsement by Fan Club Thailand or Tourism Thailand.
Do I need a visa?
If you are a UK or Irish passport holder travelling to Thailand as a tourist and staying for less than 30 days, you do not require a visa. Instead, you can enter under the visa exemption scheme. If you wish to stay longer, you can apply for a Tourist Visa which will allow you to stay for up to 60 days plus a one-time extension of 30 days if required.
More details here
Covid vaccinations and tests
Can it be any Covid vaccine and what proof do I need to show?
The vaccine must be approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Thai Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA approved list includes AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. Visitors need to be fully vaccinated with two shots of the vaccine (one shot for Johnson & Johnson). Vaccination shots need to have been given at least 14 days before boarding your flight to Thailand and no longer than one year before.
Proof of vaccination
From UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-status
From Ireland: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/whoweare/requestrecord.html
If I’ve not been vaccinated or only received one dose of the AstraZeneca jab, can I still travel to Thailand?
You can, but you will need to follow the current entry procedures and enter quarantine on arrival. You can only visit without quarantine if you have been fully vaccinated with both doses of the jab (or one shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
More information here
Do I need to have a Covid test before departing for Thailand?
International travellers must present a medical certificate with a RT-PCR laboratory result showing that Covid-19 is not detected. The test result needs to be issued within 72 hours of departure and the time and date shown on the certificate.
After I arrive in Thailand, how long will I have to wait before I get the first Covid-19 test result?
Results should be available within 8-12 hours.
Where will the first RT-PCR test take place and how much does it cost?
The first test will be carried out at Phuket airport and you will need to book and pay for both your first test and second test in advance via the official website. The cost is 2,100 Baht per test:
Where will the second RT-PCR test take place?
The second RT-PCR test will take place on Day 5 or 6 of your stay and will be at an approved hospital or testing centre on Phuket (see map below).
Do I need a Covid test before flying back to the UK?
Check the UK government rules for travel to England (and guidance notes for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from abroad. You should also check with your airline for any specific requirements they may have.
Children and young adults under 18
Under 6 years old
Travellers under 6 years old, travelling with parents/guardians with a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling, are not required to have a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR test result and can have a saliva test* when entering Thailand.
*We are waiting for confirmation from Thai authorities whether this is still the case or if a RT-PCR test is now required on arrival instead.
6-11 years old
Travellers 6-11 years old, travelling with parents/guardians, must have a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling.
12-17 years old
Travellers 12-17 years old, travelling with parents/guardians, are not required to be vaccinated but must have a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling. Those unaccompanied must get vaccinated with at least one dose of an approved vaccine and must have a negative RT-PCR test result.
Flights and hotels
Can I book my own flights and hotels or do I have to use a travel agent?
You can book independently, but you need to make sure you comply with all the entry requirements.
What is SHA, SHA Plus and SHA Extra Plus?
SHA is an abbreviation of Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA). To be awarded SHA status, businesses must meet strict safety protocols. The SHA Plus (SHA+) certificate is only granted to businesses that meet all the safety protocols plus at least 70% of their staff have been vaccinated against Covid-19. SHA Extra Plus (SHA++) hotels are those that meet the Amazing Thailand SHA Plus standards and have also partnered up with certified hospitals for the RT-PCR test.
More details here
Where can I find a list of approved hotels on Phuket?
The list of the SHA Extra Plus hotels in Phuket is available here.
Do I have to stay at the hotel I booked?
Once you receive a negative test result you are free to travel around Phuket, but you must return to your prearranged SHA Extra Plus accommodation on a nightly basis.
How long do I have to stay in Phuket? Can I travel to other areas of Thailand?
You need to complete a 7-night stay in Phuket before being allowed to travel to other areas of Thailand. Once you receive your first negative test result in Phuket, you are able to travel freely around Thailand’s largest island. After you receive your second negative test result and have completed a 7-night stay in Phuket, you are able to travel to any other area of Thailand.*
*Subject to any local Covid restrictions that may be in place for domestic travellers.
Will everything be open as usual on Phuket?
Many businesses throughout Thailand have been impacted by the absence of international tourism. Sadly, some businesses on Phuket haven’t been able to survive while others are operating with a limited number of staff. Although not everywhere will be fully open, venues that are will be extra welcoming. As tourists start to return it’s hoped that more businesses will be able to reopen.
Will I have to wear a mask?
All visitors are kindly asked to observe local rules which may mean wearing a mask in public areas. Although it’s unlikely you’ll be required to wear a mask on the beach if you are adhering to social distancing, you are requested to observe any local rules that may be in place which include wearing a mask in taxis and minibuses. Please also observe any signs that ask you to scan your temperature and wear masks inside shops or malls.
My partner lives in Thailand and wants to meet me in Phuket. Can my partner stay with me in my hotel?
Your partner can travel to Phuket if they follow all the local rules regarding inter-provincial travel and entry requirements for Phuket that are in place at the time of travel. This includes having medical insurance. We also advise double-checking with your hotel for any additional information they may require.
I usually live in Thailand, but have been in the UK for the past few months. Can I travel to Phuket under this scheme or is it just for tourists?
Anyone can apply to enter under this scheme if they meet all the requirements.
I live in Thailand. Do the same travel rules apply to me?
There are different rules for domestic travel within Thailand. These local rules are also subject to change depending on which province you are travelling from. Check the latest information with local media in Thailand and the official TAT Newsroom.
Covid regulations for domestic travel in Thailand
As a tourist arriving in Thailand, once you’ve cleared the Phuket Sandbox you will be issued with a ‘release form’ which confirms you have completed the mandatory requirements. Keep this form with you when travelling domestically in Thailand. Apart from that additional piece of paperwork, the same travel rules for domestic travel will apply to you as they do for Thai travellers and those who live in Thailand.
More information on domestic travel regulations here
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