The Covid-19 Pandemic changed the way the world operates; it has affected our lives in almost every way, namely how we travel with the restrictions on tourism. Travel all but stopped at the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, but tourism is slowly returning to normal. However, many nations still have strict requirements for entry.
Thailand was one of the most popular destinations in South-East Asia before the pandemic. Thailand has fantastic food, culture, people, and nature. Additionally, it is a relatively affordable place to travel. For most of the pandemic, travel to Thailand was impossible. That is no longer the case.
Thailand has implemented a sandbox system that allows travelers to enter the country and stay in specific locations or sandboxes. Travelers can travel freely within the limited area of the sandbox. The sandbox system is a great way to travel and see some of the most popular places in Thailand. One of the most popular sandboxes is the Phuket sandbox.
Keep reading this article to discover all you need to know about the Phuket sandbox and the Thailand pass.
What is the Phuket Sandbox?
The Phuket Sandbox is part of Thailand’s travel initiatives to bring back tourism to Thailand. The Phuket sandbox consists of the island of Phuket, and once there, travelers are free to travel throughout the island without restriction. Once they have completed seven days in the Phuket sandbox, they can travel anywhere in Thailand.
The Phuket Sandbox is part of the Thailand Pass. The Thailand Pass is designed to facilitate travelers’ travel to Thailand. The Thailand Pass system allows you to submit all the documentation required by the Thai government to travel safely during the age of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This system is free and can be completed without assistance.
Eligibility for the Phuket Sandbox
The Phuket Sandbox is open to both foreign and domestic travelers. Travelers who are fully vaccinated (2 doses) with a vaccine approved by the Ministry of Public Health or the World Health Organization (WHO) must submit proof of their vaccination to the Thailand Pass app. The final dose of the vaccine has to be administered at least two weeks (14 days) before arrival in Thailand.
Unvaccinated travelers and unvaccinated children under the age of 18 are also eligible for the Phuket Sandbox. They must present a negative PCR test before arrival in Thailand.
Requirements for Entering the Phuket Sandbox
There are some basic requirements that travelers must fulfill to enter the Phuket Sandbox. Travelers should check Thailand’s visa requirements for their home country. However, most travelers are visa-exempt as long as they stay for less than 45 days. Currently, the Phuket Sandbox is open to fully vaccinated travelers from any country.
Flight, Covid Insurance, SHA+ Hotel
In addition to Covid vaccine/testing and visa requirements, there are also flight, covid 19 travel insurance, and SHA+ hotel requirements for travelers coming to the Phuket sandbox.
There are currently a limited number of airlines that are allowed to fly into the Phuket Sandbox. These providers include British Airways, Singapore Airlines, THAI, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Cathay Airlines, and others. There are limited flights, and some airlines are flying into Phuket weekly. A traveler must have booked a flight with one of the available airlines before applying to the Thailand Pass.
There is no quarantine for the Phuket Sandbox. However, travelers are still expected to stay at approved SHA+ hotels. Also known as sandbox hotels, SHA+ hotels have received certification from the Thai government for Covid-19 safety measures. Travelers must book a stay of at least seven nights at SHA+ hotels to enter the Sandbox.
After booking your stay at a sandbox hotel, the hotel will provide a certificate of confirmation. This certificate must be submitted to Thailand Pass before you arrive in Thailand.
In addition to an approved flight, travelers must have Covid 19 travel insurance. The insurance must cover at least 20,000 USD in Covid related medical expenses. Additionally, the insurance must be good for the length of their stay in Thailand.
The covid insurance should cover treatment and other medical expenses related to being infected with Covid-19. This includes in-patient hospitalization, hospital and hotel isolation, and hotel quarantine.
Failure to get the correct type of Covid-19 insurance will cause the traveler to be rejected by the Thailand Pass. If Thailand Pass denies a traveler, they will not be allowed to enter the Phuket Sandbox.
Apply for Thailand Pass
A traveler must visit the Thailand pass website to complete a Thailand pass application. Once on the website, the traveler needs to register, complete a profile, share the required documents (see above), and confirm their email. After the application is complete, the traveler will receive a decision in a week or less.
If the traveler is approved, they will receive a QR code by email to cross the Thai border. Alternatively, Thailand pass assistance is available for an additional charge. It is recommended that travelers complete the Thailand pass application at least one week before flying to Thailand.
Travelers will be required to present the QR code, confirmation of your sandbox hotel, and other documents upon their arrival in Thailand. You will not be allowed into Thailand without the proper documentation.
This entire process can be completed on your own and is free of charge. However, there is Thailand pass assistance available for a charge.
Flying to Thailand
Before flying to Thailand, travelers need to have a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. You will not be allowed to board your flight without this. The exact requirements depend on the airline you are flying with.
Once you arrive in Phuket, you will present the necessary documentation and be allowed to travel freely within the Phuket Sandbox.
The Phuket Sandbox is a beautiful opportunity to enjoy the wonder of Thailand with no quarantine. If you have the travel bug, this is an excellent opportunity to travel the world again and enjoy the wonders of Thailand.
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