The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has confirmed Thailand is reopening the popular holiday island of Koh Samui to fully vaccinated foreign travellers, starting from 15 July 2021. The island’s reopening comes after the successful launch of the Phuket Sandbox project earlier this month; all of Thailand’s tourism sector is expected to reopen fully in October 2021.
Drawing inspiration from the Phuket Sandbox project, tourists from approved countries who have been fully vaccinated will be able to enter the island without the need for quarantine. After 14 nights, they will also be permitted to travel beyond Samui to the rest of Thailand.
To be eligible for entry, travellers must present a certificate confirming they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, no fewer than 14 days prior to departure. The vaccine used must be of a type approved by WHO and/or the Thai Ministry of Health. This list currently includes AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinova, Sinopharm and Pfizer.
Children under 18 are not required to be vaccinated if travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians, but must have tested negative for Covid-19 no more than 72 hours before travel.
Additional requirements for entry include health insurance, covering Covid-19 for the duration of stay and worth at least US$100,000; confirmation of SHA+ hotel reservation and payment of Samui Extra+; and proof of payment for Covid-19 testing. Arrivals will also need all the usual travel documents, including a valid passport and a Certificate of Entry (COE).
Upon arrival, travellers will need to present a negative result from a recent RT-PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure). They will then pass through the Department of Disease Control and Immigration checkpoints. Both the Samui Health Pass and ThailandPlus application should also be downloaded (this is a dedicated track & trace app, which is a mandatory requirement for all new arrivals in Thailand).
Within the first three days (day 0-3), all visitors must take another RT-PCR test to prove they are still free of Covid-19. While waiting for the test and its results (usually available within 3 hours of taking the test), they will need to remain in their hotel, but can use certain designated facilities.
Once these results have come back negative, from day 4-7, travellers will be permitted to travel along designated sealed routes (including beaches and boat trips) in Koh Samui. From day 1-7 visitors must stay at the Samui Extra Plus hotels facilities.
On day 7, they will need to take another RT-PCR test. After that comes back negative, they can enjoy the following week (day 8-14) travelling freely around Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. After completing 14 nights in Samui and passing all the necessary tests, travellers with then be free to continue their holiday around the rest of Thailand.