Three more ‘Sandbox’ destinations approved for Thailand travel
Ko Tao, Thailand

Three more ‘Sandbox’ destinations approved for Thailand travel

TORONTO — Thailand has approved the reopening of three more ‘Sandbox’ destinations: Krabi, Phang-Nga and Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Tao).

The news was announced by Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration via The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) New York and TAT Toronto offices.

In effect starting today, Jan. 11, 2022, the CCSA has also approved international travellers from any country around the world, regardless of their vaccination status, can enter Thailand under the Alternative Quarantine entry scheme.

TAT says the temporary suspension of new registrations for the Thailand Pass system for new registrations under the Exemption from Quarantine (TEST & GO) remains in place until further notice due to concerns surrounding the global spread of the omicron variant. Registration for the Thailand Pass under the Phuket Sandbox and Alternative Quarantine programs remains open however.

Phuket was Thailand’s first province to reopen to international tourists. The Phuket Sandbox program, which launched on July 1, 2021, continues to remain in place allowing fully-vaccinated eligible travellers to make the island their first – or only – destination in Thailand.

After applying for a Thailand Pass for the Phuket Sandbox followed by completing the necessary pre-departure and post-arrival testing, travellers are required to stay at a SHA Extra Plus, ie. a property that meets enhanced health and safety standards, for the first seven days in Phuket. Travellers are free to explore Phuket, and after seven days can then continue onward throughout Thailand without quarantine. As an additional option for entering Thailand, the country’s Alternative Quarantine scheme remains open to vaccinated and unvaccinated eligible travellers.

“The Phuket Sandbox and Alternative Quarantine programs were effective for driving tourism upon initially reopening Thailand to foreign travellers,” says Santi Sawangcharoen, Director of the TAT New York office / Acting Director of the TAT Toronto office.

He continues: “As hospitality is intrinsic to Thai culture, the TAT New York and TAT Toronto offices are hopeful that the enduring appeal of these programs will continue to drive inbound visitors. In addition to Phuket, the reopening of Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao) is a step in a positive direction for The Land of Smiles.”

Travelers who have already received a Thailand Pass QR code (200,000 applicants) will be allowed to enter Thailand under the existing conditions of the scheme they have registered. New registration for the Thailand Pass under the Exemption from Quarantine (Test & Go) and other Sandbox programs beyond the four destinations is temporarily suspended until further notice.

Applicants who have already registered for Test & Go (prior to the December 22, 2021 deadline) but have not yet received their QR Code must wait for their Thailand Pass to be considered / approved. Once approved, travellers can enter Thailand under the scheme they had already registered for.

The government will ensure all travellers are tested twice using the RT-PCR method. The first taking place at the SHA Extra Plus hotel or a government-designated facility and on Day 5-6,  the second testing within Thailand will take place at government-designated facilities (must be prepaid by the travellers prior to applying for the Thailand Pass).

For further information on how to access the approved Sandbox programs, check out www.tatnews.org/2022/01/thailand-reopening-living-in-the-blue-zone-17-sandbox-destinations.