Phuket Sandbox: The dos and don’ts of visiting Phuket safely

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Phuket is opening to quarantine-free trips, the first step in Thailand’s Sandbox reopening plan. Here’s everything you need to know upon arriving in Phuket.

Phuket airport

It’s been 15 long months since Phuket last welcomed quarantine-free, international travelers. On July 1st, 2021, this will finally be changing thanks to the Phuket Sandbox plan organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). The plan is to fully open the entire country to overseas travelers by the end of 2021/the beginning of 2022, with Phuket being the first destination in the country to open.

The whole travel experience will look a bit different now than it did pre-Covid, requiring a bit more organization and planning. Lucky for you, we’ve done the deep-digging to get you all the information you need to know before you land and what to do upon arrival.

Who is eligible to travel to Phuket under the Sandbox plan?

Those who have been vaccinated are able to visit Phuket under the Sandbox plan. There is no minimum stay required for vaccinated travelers and there is no quarantine necessary (more on this below).

Unvaccinated travelers can also visit Phuket under the Sandbox plan, however, there is a mandatory, 2-week hotel quarantine necessary upon arrival.

What do you need to bring with you to Phuket as an overseas traveler?

  • Proof of Covid-19 vaccination (if you’ve been vaccinated).
  • Fill out the Certificate of Entry (CoE) form prior to departure.
  • Proof of a negative RT-PCR laboratory result, taken no more than 72 hours before your departure.
  • Hotel documentation: Proof that you have a place to stay (especially important for non-vaccinated travelers).
  • Download the Thailand Plus tracking app before your departure and upload the required information.

What happens when you arrive at Phuket International Airport? Do you need to quarantine?

Upon arriving at Phuket International Airport, the staff will administer a Covid-19 RT-PCR test.

  • If you have been vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days. However, you cannot leave Phuket for 14 days. Once these two weeks have passed, you can travel freely throughout Thailand. That being said, the rules around the country change regularly, so we recommend double checking the regulations of the destinations you intend on visiting prior to visiting them.
  • If you have not been vaccinated, you must quarantine in a registered hotel for 14 days.

During the second week of your trip, you must take another PCR test.

Pro tip: You must fly directly to Phuket International Airport (though this is subject to change at some point down the line, at which point travelers may be allowed to arrive via Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport).

Where to go from Phuket

If you plan on visiting more than just Phuket (after your 2-week stay, of course), these are the best destinations for you to consider, based on the Sandbox reopening plan:

DestinationHow to get there
Chiang MaiBus or flight
Koh SamuiBus+ferry or flight
KrabiBus, ferry, minivan or car
PattayaBus or flight
Phang NgaBus, minivan or car

If you plan on visiting Phuket and have more questions, please feel free to reach out to our support team.

Posted June 21, 2021
Ashley Katzeff
Lover of napping on the beach. A wealth of random, useless facts and superstitions. Big fan of hummus and potatoes in any form. Former journalism student. Current Content & Brand Manager at Bookaway.