Thailand Reopening – EXO Travel Blog

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22 October 2021 UPDATE –

Building on the success of the Phuket Sandbox and recent improvements in the country’s vaccination and infection rates, Thailand has now made official its plans to substantially reopen the country. Although there are still some questions/details left unanswered (more on these below), and it’s entirely possible that details may change, this is a big step forward in Asia’s path to reopening.

STARTING 1 NOVEMBER, 2021:

For Vaccinated Travellers:

Proof of full vaccination done at least 14 days before arrival
Negative PCR test results max 72 hours before arrival in Thailand
Negative PCR test upon arrival in Thailand
Proof of health/medical insurance coverage of min USD$50,000
Download/install New ThailandPlus app

Fully Vaccinated Travellers from 46 countries (listed below):

No quarantine besides 1st day/night on arrival  waiting for test result
1st night to be at a SHA+ certified hotel within a 2-hour drive from the international airport guests arrive at.
No travel restrictions if the result negative
Must have spent at least 21 days in one of the following ‘low risk’ countries before departure to Thailand:

US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Lithuania, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta, Israel, Bulgaria, Chile, Iceland, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, UAE

Fully Vaccinated Travellers from country not on the list of 46 above:

No quarantine besides 1st day/night on arrival waiting for test result
First 7 nights in the same area/approved hotel in one of the 17 Blue Zones, but free to move around within this blue zone.
17 ‘Blue Zones’:  Bangkok, Phuket, Surat Thani (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao), Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai, Trat (Koh Chang), Rayong, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Samut Prakan, Loei, Ranong, Cha Am, Hua Hin, Buri Ram, Chon Buri.
After a 2nd COVID test (ATK rather than PCR) on days 6 or 7; free to explore all of Thailand.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated:

10-day hotel quarantine
Travellers should be able to enjoy some hotel facilities during the quarantine
Negative result for the 2nd COVID test (ATK rather than PCR) on days 8 or 9 before being able to explore the rest of Thailand.

What we still don’t know

Will travellers still be required to obtain a COE (Certificate of Entry) or will it be something else?
Will fully vaccinated travellers with unvaccinated children be required to participate in a Sandbox?
Do you need to spend the first night in the room until the test result is in?
Is it possible to split time between two blue zone destinations?

We expect that these questions and more will be answered very soon and will reach out with details as they arise.

Please note that, because some of the details regarding the new plan starting 1 November still need to be worked out, the information below reflects conditions as they are currently, not changes that are expected to come 1 November.

WHAT IT IS:
The Sandbox Model for reopening is way to resume international tourism to Thailand without quarantine.
Vaccinated travellers under the current scheme are able to enter Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao and travel uninhibited within these destinations for the first 7 days of their vacation then, after completing a COVID test, they are free to explore the rest of the country.
On 1 November, a few notable changes are set to take place:

Destinations will expand to also include: Bangkok, Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai, Trat (Koh Chang), Rayong, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Samut Prakan, Loei, Ranong, Cha Am, Hua Hin, Buri Ram, Chon Buri
Only vaccinated travellers who are not arriving from one of 46 ‘safe’ destinations will need to take part in a Sandbox scheme. Everyone else will be free to travel as they wish after day 1.

Current Sandbox destinations: 

Travellers vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure and not more than 1 year prior to arrival.
Vaccinated travelers must enter Thailand from ‘low and medium risk countries’ where they remained for at least 21 days prior to their departure date.
‘Low and medium risk countries’ are defined by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health below. Please note that, due to the rapidly-changing nature of lingering covid impacts in each country, this list is subject to change. We will be keeping this list up-to-date.

Unvaccinated children under 12 years old who are traveling with vaccinated parents will not need to present a Vaccine Certificate upon arrival.
Unvaccinated children between 12 and 17 years old traveling with vaccinated parents will need to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival at Phuket International (the estimated cost of the test is $35 – $45 USD/person).

To be considered fully vaccinated, guests must receive the full regimen of whatever vaccine they receive at least 14 days prior to departure and within one year of entering Thailand
The payment gateway and reservation website for the require RT-PCR tests is available via the website www.thailandpsas.com. Sandbox guests should purchase online during the COE process and also choose their testing time.
PCR Test must be conducted within 72 hours prior to departure to Phuket. This is the first of 4 tests required as part of the Sandbox scheme (details of others below).
Travelers must obtain a ‘Certificate of Entry’ or ‘COE’ (found here) before flying into Phuket International Airport.
Travellers must obtain and provide evidence of insurance to cover the cost of treatment and care for COVID-19 should they be found to be infected during their stay. There must be a minimum coverage of $100,000 USD, and the coverage must extend for the duration of their stay.

Upon arrival in Sandbox destination, immigration will check guests papers and documents (see Pre-Arrival)
Guests are required to download and activate the Thailand Plus Mobile App which provides real-time information about COVID and has built-in contact tracing technology in case of infection.
Once the immigration process is complete, guests may be transferred to a SHA+ certified hotel
Guests must transfer directly to their hotel upon arrival, with no stops in between, and their transportation must be pre-booked.

SIGHTSEEING

After obtaining a negative test result from their first PCR test within hours upon arrival, guests will be free to leave their hotels and enjoy their holidays
In the first 7 nights, guests are permitted to visit anywhere within their sandbox destination
Tours should be operated by a SHA-certified tour operator. EXO and all our suppliers are SHA-certified and all itineraries in sandbox destinations are designed with safety in mind.
If a guest tests ‘positive’ for COVID-19 and they are traveling in a group or with family, everyone in the group must be tested and stay in an Alternative Hotel Quarantine (ALQ) covered at their own expense. The same goes for any guest who has been in close contact with other guests who have tested positive. Their remaining nights at a SHA+ certified hotel will be cancelled and refunded in order to help pay for ALQ accommodation.

DINING

Guests are encouraged to only dine at SHA+ certified establishments
Alcohol consumption is now permitted in SHA+ hotels and restaurants
Pools can only be accessed via SHA+ hotels

THROUGHOUT

Normal COVID safety measures will be encouraged such as social distancing, masks, hand washing and sanitizer and thermal scans upon entry into buildings.
Guests will be asked to do a daily report on the Thailand Plus app.
Guests are encouraged to follow DMHTTA guidelines: D= distancing, M= Masks-wearing, H= handwashing, T= temperature checks, T= testing for COVID-19, A= application for tracing.
Hotels must SHA+ certified and report guests’ names to immigration during their stay. All SHA+ certified hotels have been strict safety standards and have at least 70% of their staff fully vaccinated.
Guests must do a temperature scan at their hotel every day for the first 14 days.
COVID-19 rapid tests are required on days 6 and 12 (this may change).

SYMPTOMS OR INFECTION

If guests feel or show any signs of COVID-19 infection, they are legally obliged to seek testing and/or treatment (covered by mandatory COVID-19 insurance) immediately.
If a guest tests ‘positive’ for COVID-19 and they are traveling in a group or with family, everyone in the group must be tested and stay in an Alternative Hotel Quarantine (ALQ) covered at their own expense. Their remaining nights at a SHA+ certified hotel will be cancelled and refunded in order to help pay for ALQ accommodation.
If a member of staff from a hotel or establishment guests have visited becomes infected, Thai authorities will identify anyone who has a high probability of being infected. Only persons who were in direct contact with the infected person will be quarantined.
If a guest tests ‘positive’ for COVID-19 and they are traveling in a group or with family, everyone in the group must be tested and stay in an Alternative Hotel Quarantine (ALQ) covered at their own expense. The same goes for any guest who has been in close contact with other guests who have tested positive. Their remaining nights at a SHA+ certified hotel will be cancelled and refunded in order to help pay for ALQ accommodation.

There is no minimum length of stay so, if guests do not have plans to travel onward to other destinations in Thailand, they are free to return home at any time.
After the 14th night, guests wanting to continue their travels in Thailand will be permitted to so unrestricted.
A PCR test 72 hours prior to departure may be needed.

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