The Thai Government has, as of 29 June, published the final rules for quarantine free leisure travel to Phuket. The hope and plan is simple – the beauty and peace of Phuket far outweighs the boredom of being stuck in your home for the last 18 months. The government imposed rules for Phuket Sandbox are aggressive and hopefully over a period of time, will be eased up. The rules, as published in the Government Gazette, are as follows:
Measures before entering Thailand
1) Avoid risk areas or community places for at least 14 days.
2) Traveling from a country/region that the center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) or the center for operations measures for traveling and taking care of Thai people abroad approved in accordance with the criteria prescribed by the Ministry of Public Health by the proposal of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Tourism of Thailand and has been registered through the system or website specified by the government.
The traveller must stay in the said country for at least 21 days before departure, except for those who reside in the Kingdom who have left the Kingdom and have travelled to the above approved countries/regions.
Providing documents used for entering Thailand
– A COE letter certifying that a person can enter the Kingdom (Certificate of Entry – COE).
– Medical Certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID – 19 is not detected by RT-PCR method up to 72 hours prior to departure.
– An insurance policy that covers the expenses of health care and medical treatment or any other insurance, including the case of COVID-19, throughout the duration of the traveller’s stay in the Kingdom in the amount of not less than $100,000.
– Proof of payment for accommodation and RT-PCR testing by specifying a period of stay of not less than 14 days in a hotel or accommodation which has been registered according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Tourism of Thailand.
For the case where the traveller has been staying in the Kingdom for less than 14 days, a ticket of the airline specifying the duration of departure from the Kingdom shall be provided.
Proof of payment for accommodation and the detection value by RT-PCR method during that time.
– Documents or evidence certifying vaccination (Certificate of Vaccination) completes the criteria prescribed by the vaccine manufacturer, which is a vaccine that has been registered under the law on drugs or certified by the World Health Organization or as prescribed by the Ministry of Public Health, for not less than 14 days before departure.
For persons under 18 years of age who are not eligible for vaccination and traveling with a parent or guardian to have a medical certificate Medical Certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID – 19 is not detected by RT-PCR method up to 72 hours prior to travel.
3) Screening for respiratory symptoms and taking temperature to check for fever at the international entrance and exit of the country/area of origin.
Measures when arriving / while staying in Thailand
1) Symptomatic screening measures and immigration formalities
1.1) In the case of entering the Kingdom by an airline that has a direct flight to an international airport located in a tourism pilot province [Phuket], screening for respiratory symptoms and taking temperature to check for fever and submit documents to the competent official or the communicable disease control officer including carrying out immigration formalities at the international entrances and exits, before entering the Kingdom.
1.2) In the case of entering the Kingdom by an airline that does not have a direct flight and must travel by air to the airport located in the area Tourism pilot province [Phuket], the traveller shall perform one of the following actions before entering the Kingdom:
- Screening for respiratory symptoms and taking temperature to check for fever and to submit documents to the competent official or communicable disease control officer, including the immigration formalities at the first international entry and exit point where there is an entry into the Kingdom before continuing to Airport of destination that is in the pilot province for tourism [Phuket].
- screening for respiratory symptoms and taking temperature to check for fever and submit documents to the competent official or communicable disease control officer, including conducting immigration formalities at the international port of entry or in the area of the airport of destination that is a pilot province [Phuket].
2) Use a tracking system or install applications as specified by the government, by enabling such tracking system to be on all the time to monitor for symptoms during the traveller’s stay in the tourism pilot province [Phuket].
3) To depart from the airport to a hotel or accommodation by a specially arranged vehicle without stopping or stopping at any place before arriving at the hotel or accommodation.
4) To have the COVID-19 test by RT-PCR method at the place specified by the government. The traveller is responsible for the expenses according to the following criteria:
4.1) Have a test for COVID-19 by RT-PCR one time upon arrival in the Kingdom. It is forbidden to travel outside the hotel or accommodation until there is a test confirming that there is no COVID-19 disease.
4.2) To be tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR method in addition to item 4.1) as follows:
- In the case of staying in the Kingdom for not more than 7 days, a second infection test shall be conducted between 6-7 of the period of stay or as prescribed by the Ministry of Public Health.
- In the case of staying in the Kingdom for a period of 10 – 14 days, the second test between the 6th – 7th and the third time between the 12th – 13th of the period of stay or as required Ministry of Public Health.
In the event that a traveller is found to be infected with COVID-19, the hotel or accommodation will coordinate the transfer of the traveller to a medical facility. Contract parties in accordance with the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Public Health or the government urgently for further examination or treatment where the traveller is responsible total medical expenses or in accordance with an agreement on expenses between the hotel or accommodation and the traveller.
5) In the case of a traveller who leaves a hotel or a place of residence after the result of a test confirmed that there is no COVID-19 disease, the traveller must report on his return to the hotel or accommodation every day according to the order of the Communicable Disease Control Officer or as prescribed by the Communicable Disease Control Officer. It is forbidden to stay overnight in a place other than the hotel or accommodation that has been specified and to comply with public health measures prescribed by the government strictly at all times while staying in the pilot province for tourism [Phuket].
6) In the case of a traveller staying in a tourism pilot province [Phuket] for less than 14 days, the traveller is strictly prohibited from leaving the tourism pilot province [Phuket] and upon the expiration of the said period for travellers to leave the Kingdom immediately.
7) In the case that a traveller has been staying in a tourism pilot province [Phuket] for at least 14 days, he/she is allowed to travel outside of the tourism pilot province [Phuket] after the expiration of the said period.
Read More: Top 10 Destinations In Thailand
Measures before leaving Thailand or traveling outside the pilot province [Phuket] for tourism to other provinces within Thailand
– Test for COVID-19 by RT-PCR method in the case of destination country/area. The traveller is responsible for the expenses.
– In the case of a traveller leaving the area of a tourism pilot province [Phuket] to another province within the Kingdom, the traveller must show proof of residence in the pilot province for tourism together with evidence of COVID-19 testing results by RT-PCR method according to Article 4.2) b. to employees, officers or communicable disease control officers of the origin province and destination province according to the rules or guidelines prescribed by the government.
Note: Travellers should support and encourage the use of the policy by companies registered in Thailand under the supervision and certification from the Office of the Insurance Commission. The insurance policy must cover health care expenses and medical treatment in case of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection.
Beginning of counting the length of time the traveller enters the Kingdom shall commence from the time the traveller is under the supervision of the relevant government agency at the point of entry.
From 00.01 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. count the date of entry into the Kingdom as the first day (Day 1).
From 18.01 hours to 00.00 hours, counting the day following the date of entering the Kingdom is the first day (Day 1).◼
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© This article was first published online in June 2021 – World Travel Magazine.