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All the latest information for visitors to Surat Thani, Krabi and Phang-nga Provinces.
Updated 16th September 2021.
The “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” programme allows eligible international travellers to reduce the mandatory stay in Phuket from 14 to 7 days, after which another 7 nights can be spent in Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, or Railay), Phang-Nga (Khao Lak or Ko Yao), or Surat Thani (Samui Plus – Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao).
We advise that you consult the Phuket Sandbox information page alongside the information contained here.
During Your Stay Under the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension
Q: What is the procedure after I have finished my 7 nights in Phuket and am ready to continue onto my extension area?
A: You must obtain a ‘Transfer Form’ issued by your hotel in Phuket indicating that you have stayed in Phuket for 7 nights, which you will need to show together with the negative results of their 2 COVID-19 tests (conducted on Day 0 and Day 6-7 in Phuket) upon entering your extension area.
Q: Where specifically can I extend my Phuket Sandbox 7+7 stay?
A: The extension programme is based on approved areas, and it is these areas which you are welcome to visit. These are Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay in Krabi; Khao Lak and Ko Yao in Phang-Nga, and Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Tao in Surat Thani.
Q: Do I have to stay at a SHA Plus hotel in my extension area?
A: Yes. It is for your added safety, as the SHA Plus certification indicates a hotel meets the safety measures to control COVID-19, and also that at least 70% of its workforce has been fully vaccinated.
Q: While in my extension area, must I stay the full 7 nights at one SHA Plus hotel?
A: You can stay at more than 1 hotel, but all hotels you stay at must be SHA Plus properties, and your accommodation must be pre-booked and prepaid for in advance. A decision to move hotels cannot be made on the spot.
For Phang-Nga specifically, you are welcome to stay at more than 1 hotel in one specific extension area; for example, you can stay in more than 1 hotel in Khao Lak, or on Ko Yao. However, you cannot combine your stay between Khao Lak and Ko Yao for your added health and safety.
Q: What is the arrangement for a transfer from Phuket to my extension area?
A: Your transfer to your extension area, by boat, car, or plane must be reserved in advance, and is available only via approved routes as follows:
- Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, or Railay) can be reached by SHA Plus boat and ferry services from the approved piers (Ao Po, Chalong, Rassada, and Wisit Panwa).
- Phang-Nga (Khao Lak) can be reached by SHA Plus car transfer services from Phuket direct to the SHA Plus hotels.
- Phang-Nga (Ko Yao Noi or Ko Yao Yai) can be reached via SHA Plus boat and ferry services from the approved piers (Ao Po and Ao Po Grand Marina) to two approved piers on Ko Yao Yai (Chonglat and Ban Laem Yai) and to an approved pier on Ko Yao Noi (Manoh).
- Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao) can be reached via Bangkok Airways’ direct domestic flight on the Phuket-Ko Samui route.
Q: Can I stay in Phuket less than 7 nights, then move to my extension area for the remaining nights to complete 14 nights as required?
A: No, this is not permitted. You must stay in Phuket for 7 nights first before you can spend another 7 nights in your extension area.
Q: Can I stay in Phuket 7 nights, then combine my extension stay in Ko Phi Phi, Krabi for 4 nights and in Khao Lak, Phang-Nga, or Ko Samui, Surat Thani for the remaining 3 nights?
A: No, this is not permitted. You must choose only one extension area to stay for 7 nights, which must be booked and paid for when you apply for the COE.
Q: Can I choose to stay in any areas in either Krabi, Phang-Nga, or Surat Thani?
A: No, this is not permitted. For your health and safety, you are welcome to spend another 7 nights in any of these approved extension areas: Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, or Railay in Krabi; Khao Lak or Ko Yao in Phang-Nga, and Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao in Surat Thani.
Q: Can I stay at my extension area less than 7 nights; for example, only 5 nights, and then leave my extension area for another country?
A: Yes. However, you must leave Thailand immediately on an international flight to another country.
If your extension area is in Krabi or Phang-Nga, you must proceed directly to Phuket International Airport on the day of departure. At the point of entry back into Phuket, you will need to show a plane ticket or other proof of your international travel from Phuket.
If your extension area is in Surat Thani (Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao), you can either choose to return to Phuket for your direct international departure flight, or leave directly from Samui Airport on Bangkok Airways’ direct Samui-Singapore flight, or transit via Bangkok on the specific Samui-Bangkok flight.
Again, your air travel arrangement must be pre-booked and prepaid for in advance. A decision to reroute your air travels cannot be made on the spot.
Q: Can I stay at my extension area less than 7 nights; for example, only 5 nights, and then return to Phuket to complete my 14-night stay and continue my travel to other Thai destinations?
A: Yes. However, upon returning to Phuket, you must make sure that you meet all entry requirements, which can include having a negative result for your most recent COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before your travel date. For example, if your second test in Phuket is on Day 7, after which you spend Day 8-12 in Khao Lak, your test result will be more than 72 hours before your return to Phuket.
Q: Can I travel freely around my extension area during my extended 7-night stay?
A: You can go anywhere you want within any of these approved extension areas: Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, or Railay in Krabi; Khao Lak in Phang-Nga, and Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao in Surat Thani.
However, specifically for Ko Yao in Phang-Nga, your extension stay will limit to the facilities of your SHA Plus hotel. But you can also enjoy facilities at other SHA Plus hotels on both Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai, and it is recommended that you use SHA Plus transportation for your transfers.
Q: What tours and excursions, transportation, and restaurants should I use while in my extension area?
A: It is recommended that you use SHA Plus operators for tours and transportation and SHA Plus restaurants for dining although this is not compulsory.
Q: Can I rent a vehicle while in my extension area?
A: Yes, you can. Again, it is recommended that you use a SHA Plus rental car service although this is not compulsory.
Q: Can my friend/family member who is already in my extension area join me at my hotel?
A: Yes, they can. However, they must have also strictly followed the requirements for entering the respective provinces.
Q: How many more tests must I do if I combine my stay between Phuket and an extension area?
A: You are required to take 3 COVID-19 tests by the RT-PCR method during your 14-stay under the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension programme. These include the first test on Day 0 or upon your arrival in Phuket, the second test on Day 6-7 in Phuket before leaving for the extension area, and the third test on Day 12-13 in your selected extension area.
As long as all test results are negative, after a 7-night period in Phuket plus a 7-night period in the extension area, you will be able to freely travel domestically within Thailand.
Q: Where can I get an RT-PCR test done?
Krabi Swab Centres
Ko Phi Phi Swab Centers: Phi Phi Hospital (Tel. 075-622-151) and Worldmed Clinic (Tel. 095-424-0444)
Ko Ngai Swab Centre: Thapwarin Resort (Tel. 075-815-555)
Railay Swab Center: Sunrise Tropical (Tel. 075-815-555) and SOS Railay Clinic (Tel.098-010-9993)
Phang-Nga Swab Centres
Na Tai: Takuathong Hospital (Tel. 076-581-394)
Thai Mueng – Nam Kem Beach: The Andaman Hub Medical Centre (Tel. 076-486-799)
Ko Yao Noi: Ko Yao Chaipat Hospital (Tel. 076-597-109)
Ko Yao Yai: Phru Nai Hospital Health Centre (Tel. 076-582-500)
Surat Thani Swab Centres
Ko Samui Hospital Tel.077-913-200 ext.4010
Ko Pha-ngan Hospital Tel.077-377-034 ext.1901-1902
Ko Tao Hospital Tel.077-456-490 ext.210
Q: If I test positive, what will happen?
A: You will be sent to a healthcare facility for appropriate medical treatment, for which the expenses must be covered by the required insurance.
Please note that if you are travelling as a group, the rest of the group must also be transferred to an alternative quarantine (AQ) hotel for 14 nights, and they will be responsible for the AQ expenses.
TAT recommends that travellers make sure to check the small print of any COVID-19 insurance policy before purchasing. Ultimately, the policy should cover the cost of treatment and other medical expenses associated with being infected with COVID-19, including in-patient hospitalisation. The policy should also cover the whole duration that travellers are planning to stay in Thailand.
Q: What should I do if I feel unwell, or suspect possible COVID-19 infection?
A: Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must immediately get a test done. If the person is travelling in a group, every person in the group must undergo a test.
Q: What safety measures are in place to ensure my health and wellbeing during my time in Thailand?
A: The Royal Thai Government places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of every visitor to Thailand. And as the main government agency responsible for the promotion and marketing of Thailand as a preferred destination, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is working closely with all concern public and private organisations to ensure the utmost efforts to prevent any unfortunate incidents occurring on tourists and the local Thai people.
International / Domestic Departure
Q: I plan to visit one or more other destinations in Thailand after my Phuket / 7+7 Extension visit. Will I face entry requirements at these other places?
A: You must obtain a ‘Release Form’ issued by your hotel/s that you have completed a 7-night stay in Phuket and another 7-night stay in the extension area/s, which you need to know together with the negative results of your 3 COVID-19 tests (conducted on Day 0, Day 6-7, and Day 12-13).
Please note that each destination in Thailand has entry requirements, and you should check on these beforehand, to make sure you meet them.
- For travelling from Phuket to other Thai destinations, you are required to show proof that you have completed a 14-night stay in Phuket together with the negative results of their 3 COVID-19 tests along with other required documentation per the guidelines and measures announced by the respective destinations.
- For travelling from the extension area to other Thai destinations, you are required to show proof that you have completed a 7-night stay in Phuket and another 7-night stay in the extension area together with the negative results of their 3 COVID-19 tests along with other required documentation per the guidelines and measures announced by the respective destinations.
Q: What about entry requirements of the country/territory I will fly to after my stay in Thailand?
A: It is your responsibility to make sure you meet the requirements of your specific international destination. Thailand is not responsible or able to assist on this matter.
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