Thailand started to allow international visitors to enter Phuket from July 1st (Sandbox), and Koh Samui joined the program (Samui+) two weeks later. Some other areas have been added since too.
Last week, Thailand’s tourism authority announced that five other areas, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai, would allow international arrivals from October 1st. However, the opening of Bangkok is as of today delayed by two weeks until October 15.
There have been changes planned to the various programs, and Thailand plans to have specific entry requirements for foreigners that would apply to the entire country.
There are currently significant differences between Phuket’s Sandbox and Koh Samui’s Samui+. The sandbox allows tourists to roam freely within Phuket after the results from the first test at the airport are confirmed, while Samui+ requires tourists to be essentially confined to their specific hotel for the first week.
There have been indications that Thailand would restructure the program, and the following ideas have been floated:
– Lower the “quarantine” from 14 days to 7, and tourists would be allowed to go anywhere in the country from day 8.
– Lower the price of the tests and allow antigen tests for follow-ups. The price for three tests is currently set at 8,000 THB ($242).
Excerpt from the Bangkok Post:
Bangkok’s reopening for inoculated tourists will be delayed by two weeks as most of the city’s residents are still waiting for their second jabs, while the tourism ministry has pledged to open the city to bring at least 1 million international tourists this year.
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister, said the appropriate timeline for Bangkok should be postponed from Oct 1 to Oct 15 as the capital city is expected to have administered Covid-19 vaccines to 70% of its residents by then.
The revised plan came up after a discussion between the minister and Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang yesterday regarding the readiness of the city, which should be the gateway for inbound tourism.
Phuket Arrival Experience
- Phuket Sandbox “Your registration/application for COE has been confirmed”
- Thailand Phuket Sandbox Application Completed
- Thailand Phuket Sandbox COE Amendment
- Singapore Transit Experience
Bangkok Was Supposed To Open October 1:
Not sure from where these one million international tourists to Bangkok would arrive in the last 10 weeks of 2021, if the capitol is opened for visitors from other countries on October 15?
The number of Covid-19 tests required for the Sandbox and Samui+ programs is excessive (FOUR), and there is simply no way the country could perform even the arrival test at the airports if they would welcome million visitors in the last 10 weeks of the year (100K+ tests per week).
So, I would not plan to visit Thailand’s capital yet, as there is no guarantee that the city will open for international visitors in 30 days on October 15.
Unfortunately, the country cannot clearly communicate entry requirements in advance, but decisions are usually published a day before they are set to take place.