Koh Samui in Thailand has reopened to international holidaymakers for the first time since March 2020, but only those who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed.
UK tourists who’ve had both jabs of the COVID vaccine will be allowed to visit the islands of Koh Samui, Koh PhaNgan and Koh Tao under the Samui+ Sandbox programme.
They will need to present a negative PCR test and they’ll have to quarantine in their hotel room until the results of a second PCR test, taken on arrival, are known.
Also, they’ll have to remain in their hotel for the first three nights, only being allowed to venture further from the fourth day.
Phuket started its own ‘sandbox’ reopening on 1 July, since when it has received almost 5.500 international visitors, including Brits. Over the past two weeks, it has detected 17 imported cases of coronavirus.
Under the Koh Samui+ Sandbox programme, UK travellers can travel to Bangkok with Thai Airways and connect with a Bangkok Airways flight to Koh Samui.
Before travelling they must:
- Obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE)
- Pre-book Samui Extra Plus or SHA+ accommodation
- Obtain travel insurance with COVID-19 cover (min $100,000)
- Download the following apps: Thailand Plus & Mor Chana
When they arrive they must:
- Present official proof of vaccination
- Present a negative PCR test result (within 72 hours of departure from the UK)
- Transit via Bangkok is allowed to Koh Samui
- RT-PCR test on arrival
- Stay in their room until a negative result is received
- Once a negative result is received, they can leave their room and use their hotel facilities
Staying in Koh Samui:
- During nights 1-3 guests can leave their room to use the hotel facilities
- During nights 4-7 they can travel on specified routes within Koh Samui including Ang Thong National Marine Park, sunset cruise and wellness days
- During nights 8-13, they can travel around Koh Samui and onwards to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao
- RT-PCR tests are required on arrival, day 6 and day 13
- Before leaving Koh Samui/Koh Phangan/Koh Tao to visit other areas of Thailand, they must obtain a letter to prove that they have completed a 14-night stay as per the guidelines
Full information for both Phuket and Koh Samui here: https://www.tatnews.org/thailand-reopening/
The Tourism Authority of Thailand said similar schemes would open in other tourist hotspots including Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Khao Lak and Koh Yao this summer.
From September, further destinations and routes will start to open to international travellers including Chiang Mai in the north and Pattaya on the east coast.
From October onwards, Thailand aims to open Bangkok and nearby Hua Hin & Cha-Am. The gradual reopening of Thailand’s 76 provinces will align with the country’s vaccination program, ensuring locals have been inoculated, and low case rates, said the TAT.
Thailand is on the UK’s amber travel list.