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Thailand expands Sandbox to include Koh Samui and Krabi

Koh Samui has been included as a Sandbox destination.

Thailand has announced it is to expand its Sandbox programme to include Krabi, Phang-Nga and Surat Thani (Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao) alongside Phuket from January 11.

The programme, which launched last year as the ‘Phuket Sandbox’, enables international holidaymakers to enter Thailand quarantine-free as long as they abide by the Sandbox regulations.

However, at the same time Thailand has suspended indefinitely its Test & Go no quarantine entry programme for air travellers, due to a number of visitors testing positive under the scheme. “The Test & Go entry programme is a loophole where the omicron variant can evade screening, so we decided to further suspend the scheme,” said Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Test & Go was introduced in November and enabled vaccinated travellers from selected ‘low risk’ countries to take a test on entry and not have to quarantine.

Under the Sandbox scheme, all countries are eligible but travellers must enter Thailand by air at Phuket International Airport. A decision has yet to be made as to how Krabi, Phang-Nga and Surat Thani are to be accessed.

Required documents under the scheme include a Thailand Travel Pass and proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of departure. Children under six years of age are exempt from the departure test but they will be required to undergo a saliva test on arrival. Arrivals must also have proof of an insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$50,000 and a confirmed payment for at least seven days in a government approved hotel in the Sandbox destination. Travellers must also have prepaid for two PCR tests to be taken within the first seven days of their stay.

Further regulations mean all adults must be double vaccinated with an approved inoculation at least 14 days before travel. Children aged 12 to 17 years and travelling unaccompanied must have at least one dose of an approved vaccine. If they are travelling with their parents, they are exempt.

Travellers must also complete a TM6 Immigration Form on the plane and a Quarantine Form on arrival.

After a further test on check-in at their accommodation, holidaymakers are free to travel throughout the Sandbox destination for seven days, but must return to their accommodation at night. A further test must be taken on day five or six. After seven days, visitors are free to travel throughout Thailand.

More information about the Sandbox entry requirements can be found online.

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