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Home > Charter Matters > Thailand’s 4-Phase Reopening Timeline
Swing hang from coconut tree over beach, Phangan island

Thailand’s 4-Phase Reopening Timeline

Thailand pioneered Southeast Asia’s tourism reopening on July 1ST with its first-of-a-kind “Sandbox” scheme in Phuket.


Following on the success of the Sandbox program, “… new regulations for flying in to Phuket will make it easier for crew changes and the eventual reopening of Thailand scheduled to take place on November 1st,” reports Gordon Fernandes, based in Phuket and co-founder of Asia Pacific Superyachts.

“The Thai government’s aim is to allow all vaccinated crew/ guests to fly into Thailand without the need for Quarantine. Yacht check-in is also scheduled to get easier.”

Thailand will waive its mandatory quarantine requirement in Bangkok and nine regions from Nov. 1st to vaccinated arrivals, authorities stated recently. After months of strict travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand is gearing up for a return to normalcy by easing some travel restrictions and quarantine requirements and allowing normal tourists to enter the country. The government earlier introduced Sandbox programs allowing vaccinated travelers to enter the ‘Land of Smiles’ without quarantine.

Boasting the success of the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ scheme, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said 42,000 international travelers joined the campaign from 1 July to 5 October 2021, generating more than 2 billion baht for the economy. Fully vaccinated travelers from eligible countries who visit Thailand through the Phuket Sandbox are not required to undergo a mandatory quarantine. These Sandbox travelers are required to stay for 7 nights in a designated SHA+ hotel in Phuket only and now enjoying beaches, island travel and entertainment after the first 3 nights.

Now vaccinated travelers can visit other parts of Thailand as well as Phuket, including the island of Koh Samui and parts of the provinces of Krabi and Phang-Nga. The ‘Samui Plus Sandbox’ program welcomes international travelers and fully vaccinated travelers visiting Thailand through the Sandbox are not required to undergo a mandatory quarantine. Sandbox travelers are required to stay for 7 nights in a designated Samui Extra Plus Hotel in Samui before traveling to Koh Phang Ngan or Koh Tao.

Thai authorities announced plans to reopen its popular tourist destinations and large cities by the year end 2022. A four-phase reopening timeline that prioritizes popular tourist destinations, including Bangkok, has been approved as follows:

PILOT – Oct. 1:

Continue reopening of Phuket, Surat Thani (Koh Samui et al), Krabi and Phang-Nga; with more places opening in Krabi

PILOT 1 – Nov. 1:

Reopening of 7 more provinces, including popular spots like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Hua Hin 2

PILOT 2 – Dec. 1:

Reopening of 20 more provinces, including Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Trang, Trat, and Yala

PILOT 3 – Jan. 1, 2022:

Reopening 13 more border provinces, including Satun, Surin, and Udon Thani

The Thai government plans to promote tourism next year and set up of a tourism promotional fund to transform Phuket into a world class destination. Restrictions were eased as vaccinations hit 50m doses after record 1.4m doses in late September. The ambitious plan for Phuket and the tourism sector was approved during an online meeting of the Centre for Economic Situation Administration, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

A tourism promotion fund, with the support of the private sector and civil society, will be set up, not just to promote tourism but also to effect changes in the tourism industry for sustainable growth, as well as reducing as much red tape as possible to promote tourism and welcome more foreign-flagged yachts and superyachts.

Now Quarantines are reduced, there are more Sandboxes and no origin restrictions for international travellers to Thailand, with the Government declaring a broad revision to Sandbox and entry programs and making it easier for international travellers to enter Thailand. Yacht Captains and Owners interested in learning more and to receive the most up to date information can email gordon@asia-pacific-superyachts.com