Phuket Sandbox reopening of Thailand’s most famous island now in effect
query_builder 11 August 2021
01 July, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that Phuket’s highly anticipated reopening to tourism is now officially in effect since 1 July, 2021, with the launch of the Phuket Sandbox programme that welcomes fully vaccinated international visitors to the destination with no quarantine required.
Four major airlines; namely, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways International (THAI) have been flying direct to Phuket from cities like London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore right from Day One of the programme.
General information on the Phuket Sandbox programme; such as, entry requirements, on arrival procedures, hygiene measures, and FAQs can be found here.
H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said “The reopening of Phuket signifies a crucial step forward in the revitalisation of Thailand’s tourism industry with the island serving as a pilot destination. It is indeed wonderful to be welcoming visitors once again, and they can be rest assured that their safety and well-being are of utmost importance to Thailand.”
Much has been done safety-wise in the lead-up to the Phuket Sandbox launch. Of particular note is the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration or SHA certification scheme that was introduced in May 2020, and which is itself certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Over 1,300 hotels, restaurants, activities, attractions, shops, and other venues and businesses across Phuket are accredited with the SHA certification, which means they have the required safety and hygiene measures to control COVID-19.
More and more of these operators are also becoming SHA-Plus certified meaning that at least 70% of their employees are fully vaccinated.
“It is with great pleasure we can now welcome the world back to Phuket. Fully vaccinated visitors can once again enjoy the famed beaches, warm hospitality, and many other attractions that have made Phuket one of the world’s favourite destinations”, said Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor.
It is this long-standing popularity among travellers over the world over that makes Phuket an ideal destination with which to restart Thailand’s tourism industry. The reopening of other tourism gems like Samui, Krabi, Phang Nga, and Chiang Mai will soon follow suit.
Among Phuket’s commitments to safely reopen to fully vaccinated visitors is the vaccination for 70% of the island’s population. To date, 80% of the locals have received their first jab, while more than 60% had already completed two doses.
“On behalf of the people and the tourism industry of Phuket, I would like to say what a great honour it has been to be selected as the pilot destination for the much-anticipated revitalisation of Thai tourism. We are extremely excited to once again be able to welcome travellers to the famed beaches, legendary accommodation, spectacular attractions and warm hospitality ... all the things that make Phuket one of the world’s favourite tropical island getaways”, said Mr. Narong Woonchiew, Governor of Phuket Province.