Visiting Phuket on the Thailand Test & Go scheme
Update November 2021: Visiting Phuket in the time of covid has now become easier! Thailand launched a new tourism program called Test & Go starting on 1 November 2021 that allows fully vaccinated travellers from an approved list of “low risk” countries and territories to arrive with no quarantine requirements.
As of November 1, there are more than 60 countries on the approved list including Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, United States and the United Arab Emirates. (for the full list see https://www.tatnews.org/2021/10/thailand-reopening-exemption-from-quarantine-test-go/)
Travelling to Phuket and other parts of Thailand on the Test & Go scheme involves several steps, both before your departure and once you’ve arrived – you’ll need to gather vaccination documents, book a hotel stay at approved accommodation for the first night (to stay in while awaiting your covid test results), pre-book a covid test to take after arrival, purchase travel insurance, and apply for the Thailand Pass.
Here’s an overview of what you need to know when visiting Phuket without quarantine restrictions and what to expect while you’re here.
*Please note that we will do our best to keep this page up to date, but the following information is subject to change without notice*
Before your arrival in Phuket
- Ensure that you’re eligible to apply for the Test & Go travel program. Prospective visitors must travel by air from the approved countries and territories and must have stayed in these approved areas for at least 21 days prior to their departure to Thailand.
- Returning Thais and foreign residents who had previously travelled from Thailand are exempt from this requirement.
Required Documents for visiting Phuket via Test & Go
- A Certificate of Vaccination with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling.
- If you’ve been infected with covid within 3 months of arrival, you must have received 1 dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling.
- Travellers under 12 years of age, travelling with parents or guardians, are exempt from the vaccination requirement.
- A Medical Certificate with an RT-PCR lab result indicating that Covid-19 is not detected, issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.
- A confirmed and fully paid booking for a 1-night stay at SHA+, AQ, OQ, or AHQ accommodation, and 1 RT-PCR test.
- An insurance policy with coverage of a minimum of US$50,000.
- Apply for the Thailand Pass (register at https://tp.consular.go.th), and allow for 3 to 5 working days for approval. Once approved, you will receive a Thailand Pass QR Code (or COE)
Staying in Phuket – what to expect on arrival for Test & Go
After your flight has landed, you’ll need to present your Thailand Pass QR Code to Health Control, then go through Immigration procedures. Take the RT-PCR Covid-19 test either at your booked accommodation or at a testing centre.
From the airport, you’ll be taken to your hotel by pre-arranged transfer service. Once arriving at the hotel, download and activate the MorChana application to your mobile phone.
Visitors need to remain in their hotel room until their covid test results are ready. If the results are negative (we hope!), then you’ll receive an Antigen Test Kit to do a covid self-test on day 6 or 7 of your stay. The MorChana app will alert you when it’s time to do the test, and you can record the test result in the app as well.
What if you’re not vaccinated or not from the approved “low risk” countries?
Vaccinated travellers who are not coming from the approved list of countries can still visit Thailand under its Blue Zone Sandbox program. They must travel by air, then stay the first 7 nights of their visit in approved hotels at one of 17 “blue zone” destinations.
The 17 Blue Zone Sandbox destinations are as follows: Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Chon Buri (Pattaya), Chiang Mai, Trat (Koh Chang), Buri Ram, Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin), Phang Nga (including Khao Lak), Phetchaburi, Ranong, Rayong, Loei, Samut Prakan, Surat Thani (Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao), Nong Khai, Udon Thani.
Aside from having to book a SHA+ hotel for 7 nights, the documents and application process for the Blue Zone Sandbox are the same as for the Test & Go program.
If you wish to stay at another location in Thailand (outside the “blue zone” areas) or are not fully vaccinated, you can visit Thailand on the “Happy Quarantine” program. For quarantine arrivals, you can travel from any country in the world.
If you’re fully vaccinated, you must quarantine for 7 days. If unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, a 10-day quarantine is required for air and sea arrivals while arrivals by land must quarantine for 14 days. Alternative Quarantine accommodation must be booked and fully paid for before arrival.
Covid control measures to follow in Phuket
- Phuket Covid-19 control regulations state that masks must be worn at all times in public areas and in any vehicle with two or more people. (In reality, if you’re at the beach or exercising outside you’ll be fine to go without a mask, but good to keep one handy just in case.)
- Visitors can expect to have their temperatures checked and be asked to check in (using the app or writing their name on a form) when entering shopping malls, grocery stores, tourist attractions, gyms, restaurants, etc.
Important to note if infected or exposed to Covid-19!
- Travellers who test positive for Covid-19 during their stay will be evaluated by a doctor and will be required to either go into community isolation, hospitel isolation (a hotel that’s been set up to provide medical care) or stay in hospital, depending on their symptoms and health risks.
- If anyone is found to have been exposed to Covid-19, for example sitting near a person infected with the virus on the flight over, they will have to transfer to an ASQ hotel and remain in quarantine until authorised by medical authorities for release.