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‘Sandbox 7+7’ tourists will be tested twice before leaving the island, assures Phuket TAT chief

‘Sandbox 7+7’ tourists will be tested twice before leaving the island, assures Phuket TAT chief

PHUKET: Phuket Sandbox tourists wanting to spend only their first seven nights on the island before travelling to other Sandbox areas, in Phang Nga, Krabi or Samui, under the ‘Sandbox 7+7’ scheme will be tested twice before being allowed to leave the island, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri has assured

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By The Phuket News

Wednesday 18 August 2021, 05:24PM


Ms Nanthasiri explained during the daily COVID situation briefing this morning (Aug 17) that the Sandbox 7+7 tourists will be tested on arrival in Phuket, and again on Day 6/7 of their stay, before being allowed to travel to any of the 7+7 pilot areas, which she named as Khao Lak, Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai in Phang Nga Province; Phi Phi Island, Railay Bay or Koh Ngai in Krabi Province; or Koh Samui in Surat Thani Province.

“Our office is currently in the process of discussing the details with relevant agencies to prepare information, documents such as tourist monitoring, and transfer form documents for tourists who wish to leave Phuket and need to use them during their journey to the pilot areas under the Sandbox 7+7 project,” she said.

The Sandbox 7+7 scheme became available on Monday (Aug 16), after the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in Bangkok granted its approval of the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension”, which aims to provide fully vaccinated international travellers with more options to visit multiple Thai destinations without the need to quarantine.

“The Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension programme signifies the progress of Thailand’s plan to gradually reopen to fully vaccinated international travellers within the set time frame. The launch of the Phuket Sandbox from 1 July, Samui Plus from 15 July, and Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension from 16 August will lead the way to the reopening of more pilot destinations, which are currently preparing appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of both the tourists and local people,” TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said in announcing the expansion.

The existing entry measures in place for the Phuket Sandbox programme remain unchanged for the 7+7 extension, said a release by the TAT.

“But, travellers planning to spend another 7 nights outside of Phuket must obtain a ‘Transfer Form’ issued by their hotel in Phuket indicating that they have stayed in Phuket for 7 nights, which they will need to show together with the negative results of their two COVID-19 tests (conducted on Day 0 and Day 6-7 in Phuket),” it added.

However, not included in the TAT release but reported by the state news agency NNT yesterday is that participants must apply for a Certificate of Entry (COE) for each route before departing for Thailand. The Foreign Ministry will open the system for registration within this week.

Travelling from Phuket to the selected areas in Krabi, Phang Nga, or Surat Thai is available only via approved routes and modes of transport, the TAT noted in its release.

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Travelling from Phuket to the selected areas in Krabi, Phang Nga, or Surat Thai is available only via approved routes and modes of transport, the TAT noted.

“Surat Thani (Samui Plus – Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao) can be reached via Bangkok Airways’ direct domestic flight on the Phuket-Ko Samui route,” the release noted.

Phi Phi Island, Koh Ngai and Railay can be reached by SHA Plus-certified boat and ferry services from approved piers, it added.

Khao Lak in Phang Nga can be reached by SHA Plus-certified car transfer services from Phuket direct to the SHA Plus-certified hotels, the release continued.

Koh Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai ‒ less than 10km east of Pa Khlok, on Phuket’s east coast, but technically within Phang Nga Province ‒ can be reached via SHA Plus-certified boat and ferry services from approved piers, the TAT added.

“Once travellers have completed the 7-night extension in Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani (Samui Plus), and are tested negative in their third COVID-19 test (conducted on Day 12-13), they will receive a ‘Release Form’ from their hotel and will be able to continue their journey to other destinations in Thailand,” the TAT said.

However, the TAT also noted, “If the stay in Krabi, Phang Nga or Surat Thani (Samui+) is less than 7 nights, travellers must proceed directly to Phuket International Airport on the day of departure. At the port of entry back into Phuket, they will need to show a plane ticket or other proof of their international travel from Phuket.”

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CaptainJack69 | 21 August 2021 - 12:47:50

Tourists will be coming from countries where most people are vaccinated (with effective jabs) cases are on the decline and travel is opening up, to places where fewer than 10% have received even the ineffective Sinovac jab and cases are skyrocketing. Who should we worry about getting tested?

Come on Thailand, vaccinate your people!

Kurt | 19 August 2021 - 09:36:26

Paper Covid program/rules making flip-flopping is one, but to executive it is two. A lot of energy and money disappears in non effective doings. Doings for the sake of showing they do something. What is the sense you must sleep in SHA hotel after returning from abroad but in day time you can stay in your own house? It's just Thai money making business.

Madeinswiss | 19 August 2021 - 02:56:44

Stop loosing your energy with everday a new bright idea.. Stop Sandbox, close some month to clean the covid and vaccine... Then re-open with less complicates rules for the the high season in december. 

Foot | 18 August 2021 - 22:48:34

Even with all the precautions taken by Thailand, Japan, The U.S., and so many others, things haven't gotten better.  Why would anyone believe that any program for Phuket would work?

 

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