01 July, 2021 - General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand, made an official visit to launch the much-awaited Phuket Sandbox programme to reopen the island to tourism on 1 July, 2021.
The Prime Minister personally inspected the readiness and safety measures in place at a number of key tourism-related sites. This included the main entry-exit points of Phuket International Airport and Thai Chatchai Pier alongside Sarasin Bridge, which connects to the mainland, and also the ‘EOC Phuket Tourism Sandbox Operation Centre’.
Headed by Mr. Narong Woonchiew, Governor of Phuket Province, the ‘EOC Phuket Tourism Sandbox Operation Centre’ manages the COVID-19 control and prevention measures around the island. The Centre is connected to all Immigration checkpoints on the island, tourism stakeholders, and public services; such as, hotels, hospitals, and the alert application.
The Center is also connected to the Royal Thai Government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) which is the body responsible for the nationwide COVID-19 control and prevention measures.
General information on the Phuket Sandbox programme; such as, entry requirements, on arrival procedures, hygiene measures, and FAQs is available here.
With the Phuket Sandbox in operation, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects 100,000 foreign tourists to visit the island in the 3rd Quarter of 2021 (July to September) generating 8.9 billion Baht in revenue for the local economy.
Direct flights connecting major cities like London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore with Phuket are already provided by a number of major airlines including Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways International (THAI).
A total of 426 flights, averaging 13 flights a day, are expected during the month of July 2021. Of the 11,984 passengers from the six airlines, 8,281 are inbound whereas 3,613 are outbound passengers.
The Phuket Sandbox programme is an important starting point to revitalise the tourism industry nationwide. It is considered a pilot destination; the success of which will set the stage for the reopening of other tourist destinations. Starting with Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao in Surat Thani Province on 15 July, 2021, and followed by destinations like Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay Beach), Phang Nga (Khao Lak and Ko Yao), Chiang Mai (Mueang District, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng and Doi Tao), Chon Buri (Pattaya, Bang Lamung, and Sattahip) and Buri Ram (Mueang District and Chang Arena), on 1 September, 2021.
1 October, 2021, is the planned date for the reopening of Bangkok, Phetchaburi (Cha-Am), and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) with the rest of Thailand due to reopen throughout the month.
Each destination will have its own requirements for visitors; information of which will be available soon.
1600 New Phetchaburi Road, Makkasan, Ratchathevi, Bangkok 10400, THAILAND Tel : +662 250 5500 TAT Call Center 1672