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UPDATE: Phuket Sandbox – Changes to travelling back to Thailand

Yes, there are some more details, about the Phuket ‘sandbox’ and there will certainly be some more changes in the next few weeks as we lead up to July 1. Getting back to Thailand, via Phuket, is now much easier from the start of July but there are still a few conditions and restrictions you need to be aware of. We will continue to update you here and at thethaiger.com. Don’t forget to download our phone app too… it’s free!

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Tim Newton

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

24 Comments

  1. If I remember well, Tim said he will walk backwards and naked thru one of the busy roads if Phuket opens on the 1st of July. TBH, it might happen if you think about it. Is it safer for Phuketians to receive unvaccinated Thai tourist from Bangkok who didn’t have to take Covid test or a foreigner who: 1. Is vaccinated, 2. Had Covid test with negative result.

  2. Hardly a “quarantine”, Tim, when AFAIK anyone (except the tourists) can come and go by road across the bridge as often as they want with no checks at all as long as they only do so for the day!

    It may be intended to be a quarantine, but …..

  3. This policy of 14 days is clearly aimed at either reducing the attraction for people wanting to hop in and out to go to other parts of Thailand where they have homes or a business etc. Or it is to ensure they extract the maximum amount of cash. 14 days will be 15 night. If they don’t count the day of arrival it could become 16 nights. If the policy statements are really aimed at keeping people safe, then why not allow you to pay for a PCR test after day 6 and leave the following day if negative. You’ve tested negative before arriving. You’ve been fully vaccinated. And you’ve tested negative after day 6 or 7. You don’t have Covid and so should be able to leave

  4. I think Thailand should stop day dreams thinking 10s of thousands will come to Phuket now the uk are talking about putting thailand and Vietnam on the red list now the 7 days u must stay in Phuket have gone up to 15 days how many people who been to Phuket want to go back there are trying to open Phuket up is all about money money money

  5. ROTFL, no thanks. Just booked my holiday to Greece instead of Thailand this year. No restrictions, no ridiculous masks on the beach and I can stay in any hotel I like.

    RIP Thailand. You had it good, but now Prayut has destroyed you 🙂

  6. @Nigel – agree, I had booked my flight on Emirates to Phuket on 2 July (I have been fully vaccinated) but after this 14 days was announced Im forced to weigh up the odds and will revert back to flying into BKK & doing my quarantine time in Pattaya hotel room. The 7 days in Phuket was a winner but alas Im sure it will reduce people now coming in.

  7. So the entire idea of the sandbox scheme is to allow tourism without a quarantine. However in reality you are still being quarantined, just your area of confinement is larger. On top of that there is no logical reason to extend the confinement from 7 to 14 days. The chances of a fully vaccinated twice tested tourists bringing in the virus has to be incredibly low. Much lower than the chance of catching it from a vaccinated local who has only had once shot of a Chinese vaccine. That doesn’t even take into account unvaccinated Thais arriving from outside of Phuket. It doesn’t make sense except for the opportunity to extract even more money from tourists. I’ve never been a fan of Phuket, but was seriously considering the scheme at 7 days, but 14 is a deal killer. I’ll wait till they open up more in October. If I’m going to be stuck somewhere for a number of days, it’s rather it be somewhere I prefer to begin with.

  8. Disappointed in the 14 day quarantine. Was planning to come in late July for a month to see my wife’s family after the Phuket leg but not now. I really don’t understand what goes through the minds of these policy makers. They must not want us to come as they are doing everything they can to discourage us.

  9. There is no way that tourists would like to spend their holidays in Thailand this summer. The Sandbox is crazy and changes everyday, the amount of money to be spent will be very high, airlines and imposed hotels. All this in ghost villages.
    What about the high and low risk countries whose citizens might not allowed in Thailand from one day to another and whose airplane tickets won’t be endorsed in the same way that it had been paid, cash or credit card, as the international rules impose. Vouchers aren’t the legal way to do it and Thaj Airways knows it well as they used them to pay their unhappy passengers.
    Yesterday evening l was listening to the news from a french national television, like BBC in the U.K, and they emphasised the great lost of customers concerning the Eurochannel, 18 trains a day before only 2 lastly. The main reason is due to the covid19 pandemic but also the virus test control price in England, 150€, doesn’t help. All this is for information.

  10. It will be as popular as the STV (special Tourist Visa) how will staff for the hotels and venues get to Phuket the rest of Thailand is quite a mess with the spread of many variations of including the Thai spit the dummy variant. Welcome to Phuket sorry sorry no have taxi no have hotel no have restaurant no have bar or massage enjoy please the raining season same same mosquito like Welcome to the land of dreams forget the smiles. Phuket is opening because it’s always been open to someone with a STV and 14 days quarantine good luck at the airport

    1. Under current guidelines you will be required to stay at an SHA hotel for 14 days. But, we assume, you can spend all your day ‘visiting’ your own house in Phuket. Go figure!

  11. @Nigel – it’s pure greed to make people stay 2weeks. But it will back fire. Three UK based families I know who intended to stay a week then go to wife’s province have cancelled the idea 2weeks expense in Phuket and less time with Grandparents make the use unviable

  12. Here is what Canadians have to do to get a tourist visa to visit Thailand:

    1. You need to have a health insurance policy with coverage including COVID-related treatment.
    2. You need to book a hotel to spend 14 days in quarantine on arrival.
    3. You need to apply for and obtain a Certificate of Entry.
    4. You need to obtain a negative COVID-19 lab test result within 72 hours before departure.

    It’s too much hassle for me. I will wait and hope it will be simpler six months from now.

  13. @Thaiger – Tim

    Thanks for the info.

    I will keep my ears pressed to the news you provide for further updates as things might change.

    I will take your for a beer when I arrive for the good service your give to us farangs if I may.

    Rergards

  14. @Farang in Canada – same for Scandinavia but I needed a 24h pcr test also for my transfer when I went in April. Took 2h in the airport to get one.

    I have still not been able to enjoy a beer or whine together with my food when dining in. Things are not the same here these days. My friend says she’s never seen Pattaya so quiet. After 8pm when the restaurants closes for new diners Jomtien beach road is almoat desserted.

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