Breaking News – Thailand Confirms Reopening Plan

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has confirmed reopening plans have been approved.

Main picture Thai beach credit Maksim Shutov on Unsplash

The plan will begin with the “Phuket Sandbox” from 1st July, followed by Surat Thani – Samui Plus from 15th July, and other destinations, including Krabi, Phang Nga, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Buri Ram in the coming months.

The plan was approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today and will be submitted for final approval from the Cabinet.

“Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday has set a goal to reopen Thailand to fully vaccinated foreign visitors without quarantine within the next 120 days. This has given hope to everyone in the Thai tourism industry. I believe that the Prime Minister has set such goal in his confidence that the national COVID-19 vaccination programme would have given 50 million people their first shot by early October.”

“Thailand’s plan to reopen within 120 days meant that if Bangkok or any of the 76 provinces are ready to reopen from October, provided that the local population are inoculated, and the infection rate is at no more than 20-30 cases daily. The key is that the Thai people must be safe, and that the public health guidelines must be adhered to.”

Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports H.E.

The ‘Island Approach’ will begin with the Phuket Sandbox followed by the Samui Plus (Surat Thani) for Samui-Phangan-Tao Sealed Routes (see below for more details).

An ‘Extension’ will be introduced from August with a visit to Phuket, linking with ‘Krabi Even More Amazing’ (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Ko Railay) or ‘Phang Nga Prompt’ (Khao Lak and Ko Yao).

From September, the ‘Sealed Approach’ will be launched for specific areas and routes in ‘Charming Chiang Mai’ (Mueang, Mae Rim, Mae Tang and Doi Tao Districts), Chon Buri: Neo Pattaya (Pattaya City and Bang Lamung and Sattahip Districts), and Buri Ram (Mueang District and the Chang Arena).

“Under the latest target set by the Thai Prime Minister to reopen Thailand within the next 120 days, TAT has been instructed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport to adjust our strategy with the aim to reopen pilot destinations under the ‘island and sealed approach’ within the third quarter, leading to the reopening of more destinations from October.”

“For Buri Ram specifically, 70% of the local population must be inoculated in preparations for the 2021 Thailand MotoGP at the Chang International Circuit on 8-10 October.”

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor

From October, Bangkok, Cha-Am and Hua Hin, as well as any other Thai destinations that are ready, will be reopened to vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine.

TAT is also considering the reopening of other destinations with nearby tourist islands, including Pattaya (Ko Lan) and the provinces in the Eastern Economic Corridor (Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong).

Reopening guidelines for Phuket and Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao):


  • Foreign travellers as well as Thai nationals and foreign expatriates must travel from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). They must also have already stayed in the said countries/regions no less than 21 days before the travel date;
  • They must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine registered with the MoPH or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before the travel date, and must have a vaccine certificate to verify their vaccination;
  • Children under 6 years of age are allowed when travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians;
  • Travellers who have a history of COVID-19 infection must also be fully vaccinated no less than 14 days before the travel date;
  • Travellers must have a medical certificate with an RT-PCR laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before departure;
  • Travellers must have a COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000.

Travellers who are qualified and equipped with the required documents are advised to submit application for the Certificate of Entry (COE) via


  • Undergo Immigration and Customs procedures, and a COVID-19 screening, including RT-PCR tests;
  • Download and install the alert application;
  • Go directly to your reserved hotel to await the test results;
    • Arrivals to Phuket must check-in at the pre-booked SHA Plus-certified accommodation establishment;
    • Arrivals to Ko Samui must check-in at alternative local quarantine (ALQ) facilities;
  • If tested negative for COVID-19, travellers to Phuket can go anywhere in Phuket. Travellers to Ko Samui can leave their room for facilities and services within their accommodation only.


  • For travellers to Phuket:
    • Travellers who wish to visit Phuket only, no minimum stay is required but they must leave Phuket (Thailand) for another country on or before the intended departure date;
    • For travellers who wish to continue the journey to other Thai destinations, they must stay in Phuket for 14 nights, and thereafter will be allowed to travel domestically.
  • For travellers to Ko Samui:
    • During the 1st-3rd nights, travellers can leave their room for facilities and services within their accommodation only.
    • During the 4th-7th nights, travellers can travel on specified routes within Ko Samui only.
    • During the 8th-14th nights, travellers can travel between Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao.
  • Undergo a COVID-19 test using an RT-PCR method per the MoPH’s guidelines;
  • Travellers are advised to strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.

Domestic Departure

  • For travelling from Phuket or Samui-Phangan-Tao to other Thai destinations, travellers are required to show proof that they have completed a 14-night stay along with the other required documents per the guidelines and measures announced by the respective province of destination.

Our series the Future of Travel looks at a number of factors affecting the travel and tourism industry including sustainable travel and vaccine passports.

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