Thailand Travel Restrictions for Phuket: What to Know Before Visiting

Thailand Travel Restrictions for Phuket: What to Know Before Visiting

Ready for your well-deserved Phuket vacation?

After battling the new Omicron wave towards the end of 2021, Thailand’s Phuket Island will reopen for leisure travel on 1 Feb 2022. By then, you can apply for entry under the Phuket Sandbox program, which allows both foreign travellers and Thai nationals to visit the country without quarantine. The only caveat here is that you must stay in Phuket for seven days, before they can visit other destinations. 

Here’s what you need to know:

phuket travel

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Thailand travel overview 

Vaccination status

68.5% of Thailand citizens have been fully vaccinated, as of 25 Jan 2022. As for Phuket vaccinations, 76.7% of its local residents are fully vaccinated, as of October 2021. 

Citizens and nationals allowed entry without quarantine

Vaccinated Thai nationals and vaccinated foreign travellers — from any country or territory — are allowed to enter Thailand under the Phuket Sandbox without quarantine.

Unvaccinated children aged 17 years old and below are allowed, as long as they are travelling with vaccinated parents.

Travellers with quarantine requirements

Foreign travellers who are either unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated must undergo mandatory quarantine at an accredited hotel in Phuket for 10 days.

Also read: Thailand Pass Launched as Thailand Reopens Borders for Travel

Pre-arrival required documents for travel to Phuket

All foreigners travelling to Phuket are required to prepare the following documents prior to their trip:

  • Thailand Pass. Register here.
  • Certificate of COVID-19 vaccination
    • This is required for travellers aged 18 and above, as well as travellers aged 12-17 who are not travelling with parents
    • Exemptions: Travellers aged 17 and below who are travelling with parents
    • Full vaccination at least 14 days prior to departure to Thailand, and not more than 12 months
    • Vaccine brands approved: AstraZeneca/Oxford, Johnson and Johnson/Janssen, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm, and Sinovac
  • Medical certificate with a negative RT-PCR lab result
    • Taken no longer than 72 hours prior to departure
  • Approved Certificate of Entry
  • Approved visa
    • If this is applicable to your country. Click here to see which countries are exempt from visa requirements.
  • Passport with at least six months validity
  • Medical insurance with COVID-19 treatment coverage
    • Coverage of at least US$50,000
    • Exemptions: Foreign expatriates who are under Thailand’s national healthcare coverage
  • Two pre-paid RT-PCR COVID-19 tests to be taken in Phuket amounting to around ฿4,200 (~S$171.41). Find out more here
  • Stay at SHA+ Hotel in Phuket and approved Extension Areas
    • Accommodation must be no less than seven days in Phuket at an SHA Plus hotel. 
    • Travellers have the option to book two different hotels in Phuket within these 7 days.


For all Phuket travel, foreign tourists must book a flight directly to Phuket International Airport only. Transiting via Bangkok is only allowed if your flight is PG5275 or PG5279 (Bangkok Airways).

Thailand travel restrictions include downloading the ThailandPlus alert application on your mobile phone. You must have this app on at all times during your stay in Thailand.


Upon arrival at Phuket International Airport, all travellers are subject to immigration procedures that inspect the required documents. They will also need to undergo a health screening, which includes a nasal swab RT-PCR test. Meanwhile, children under six years old will receive saliva RT-PCR testing

  • After clearing immigration and health control, all travellers must go straight to their hotel to await the RT-PCR test result. The result should be available within the first day of arrival.
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel must be pre-arranged and stops en route to the hotel are strictly prohibited. 
thailand open for tourism

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During the stay

Once travellers test negative from the airport RT-PCR, they are free to travel around Phuket. They must follow these DMHTTA precautions

  • D = Distancing
  • M = Mask-wearing
    • At all times in public areas and in any vehicle with two or more people
  • H = Handwashing
  • T = Temperature check
  • T= Testing for COVID-19
  • A = Alerts for the ThailandPlus app

On tour packages, transportation, and restaurants

While it is not compulsory, it is highly recommended for travellers to choose SHA Plus tour operators and transportation services, and dine in at SHA Plus restaurants.

Click here for the full list. 

On renting vehicles

Travellers are allowed to rent a vehicle. While it is not compulsory, it is highly recommended to get an SHA Plus rental car service.

Phuket Sandbox restrictions

Under the Phuket Sandbox, foreign tourists are free to roam around the island during their stay —as they follow health and safety protocols. 

The following local establishments remain closed until further notice:

  • Pubs, bars, and other entertainment venues
  • Computer game shops and internet cafes 

The following local establishments are open, but with limited capacity and shortened hours:

  • Restaurants and other food and beverage outlets
    • Serving of alcohol or consumption of alcohol on the premises is only allowed until 9pm.
  • Fresh markets and walking street markets 
  • Museums, art galleries, and historical sites
  • Convenience stores 
    • Open only between 4am and 11pm
  • Parks, courtyards, sports fields, swimming pools, and other places for outdoor exercise
    • Open only until 9pm
  • Gyms, yoga studios, and other places for indoor exercise
    • Open only until 9pm
    • Those without air conditioning must have open space and good ventilation, with a limited number of customers 
phuket travel

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COVID-19 testing while at the Phuket Sandbox

All travellers are required to do a second RT-PCR test during their Phuket vacation if they plan to stay more than seven nights and to continue to other parts of Thailand. This additional test should be taken on Day 5-6. Upon receiving a negative test result on Day 7, travellers can obtain a Release Form so they can explore the rest of Thailand.

For those who intend to stay in Thailand (including Phuket travel only) for five days or less, they won’t need to take a second RT-PCR test. However, they must leave for another country immediately. They might also have to take another RT-PCR test, depending on the airline and their next international destination. 

Meanwhile, those who intend to stay for six days must still take the second RT-PCR test on Day 5-6, even if they are scheduled to leave for another country.

What if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

Those who test positive at the Phuket Sandbox will be sent to a healthcare facility for appropriate medical treatment. Expenses for this must be covered by the health insurance purchased prior to their trip.

For those travelling as a group with at least one member that tested positive, the rest of the group must also be transferred to an alternative quarantine (AQ) hotel for 14 nights. These travellers must also cover their own AQ expenses. 

What if someone feels unwell, or shows possible COVID-19 symptoms?

Those experiencing symptoms must get tested ASAP. If the person is travelling with a group, every person in the group must also undergo a test.

Phuket swab centres

Here is where you can get your RT-PCR tests done during your Phuket travel:

  • Maikhao (North Phuket) – 096-643-4572
  • Laguna (Cherngtalay) – 076-325-442
  • Patong (Jungceylon) – 093-574-0683
  • Kata (Kata Centre) – 081-693-6586
  • Phuket Town (Central Floresta) – 088-765-0363
thailand open for tourism

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Thailand travel restrictions outside Phuket

This covers all travel to Thailand destinations from Phuket

All travellers must show proof that they have completed their seven-day stay in Phuket by obtaining a Transfer Form from their hotel in Phuket. They must also provide two negative COVID-19 test results.

Note that Thailand travel restrictions and entry requirements vary for each destination. Starting 1 Feb 2022, most destinations in Thailand will use the Test and Go scheme, which is also quite similar to the Phuket Sandbox program.

Return travel

Apart from these Thailand travel restrictions, it’s also important to know the entry requirements for when you return to your country of origin. Best to check with your respective airline and official tourism office for what documents you’ll need to bring during the return trip to your country of destination.

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About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.