A Primer on the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension Program

Travelers eligible for a quarantine-free holiday in Thailand can now head to places like Khao Lak and Koh Samui after spending only a week in Phuket.

A secluded beach on the southern Thai island of Koh Yao Yai. (Photo: Zibik/Unsplash)

Thailand has expanded the scope of its partial reopening to foreign visitors, with recent changes to the Phuket Sandbox scheme giving holidaymakers the chance to visit multiple destinations without needing to quarantine. Through the renamed Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension program, travelers can halve their mandatory stay in Phuket from 14 to seven days, and choose to spend the remainder of that period in selected areas in the nearby provinces of Phang Nga, Krabi, and Surat Thani. These include the islands of Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai, along with Khao Lak on the mainland; Koh Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, and Railay in Krabi; and Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, all of which are covered by the Samui Plus scheme.

Those planning to spend the latter half of their two-week Thai sojourn outside Phuket will need to carry a Transfer Form issued by their hotel, confirming they have stayed the required seven nights. Vacationers must also present a negative result for Covid-19 through PCR tests taken on arrival and during their sixth or seventh day on the island. Sandbox-related travel from Phuket is only permitted on certain modes of transport, such as Bangkok Airways’ domestic flights to Koh Samui. Meanwhile, holidaymakers headed for Khao Lak will need to book SHA Plus–certified car transfer services from Phuket direct to their accommodation. To reach Ko Yao Noi, Ko Yao Yai, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai, and Railay, travelers should look to SHA Plus–certified boat and ferry operators departing from approved piers on Phuket.

Illustration courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand

After testing negative in a third PCR test on Day 12 or 13 and completing the seven-night extension in the destination of their choice, visitors will receive a Release Form from their hotel, allowing them to continue their journey elsewhere in Thailand. But if the stay in Krabi, Phang Nga, and Surat Thani is under seven nights, they must go directly to Phuket International Airport on the day of departure, and present proof of onward travel when reentering Phuket.

The Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension scheme is open to fully vaccinated international travelers hailing from 70 low- and medium-risk countries, with the most recent additions being those in the Middle East, including Qatar and the UAE. Scroll down to see the full list of eligible places:

Region Country/Territory
Asia-Pacific Australia
Bhutan
Brunei
Cambodia
China (Mainland)
Hong Kong
Japan
Laos
Macau
Mongolia
Myanmar
New Zealand
Singapore
South Korea
Taiwan
Vietnam
Central Asia Uzbekistan
Europe Albania
Andorra
Austria
Azerbaijan
Belgium
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Monaco
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
San Marino
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Middle East and North Africa Bahrain
Israel
Kuwait
Morocco
Qatar
Turkey
UAE
Sub-Saharan Africa Mauritius
North America Antigua and Barbuda
Barbados
Canada
Dominica
United States
South America Chile
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