Phuket Sandbox Scheme: Everything You Need to Know

It is truly the moment we have all been waiting for. After over a year of slumber, Thailand is finally ready to take its first step to reclaim its position as the leading holiday destination of the region, and the coastal southern province of
Phuket is at the heart of the programme.As one of the top tourist spots in the country, boasting the second highest per capita income following the capital, Bangkok, it didn’t come as a surprise that Phuket was handpicked as the first city to reopen its border and welcome international
travellers back to the Land of Smiles. Not only is Phuket home to beautiful beaches, copious coral forests, and idyllic islands, it is also one of the most multicultural cities in the Kingdom. From architecture to cuisine, the diversity of Phuket
is as thriving as it is celebrated. Thanks to its geology as an island, Phuket is in the perfect position to offer tourists the decadent holiday they have been looking forward to, while also easily maintaining the safety and security protocols
called for in the midst of a pandemic.

Phuket Sandbox

The provincial reopening order, generally dubbed “Phuket Sandbox,” entails many conditions travellers from overseas must abide by in order to enjoy the paradise island without being subjected to the 14-day state
quarantine. The decree is effective from 1
st July 2021.

To help decipher the order, here are what travellers really need to know in order to embark on their tropical journey and explore the Pearl of Andaman free from worries.

Under the Phuket Sandbox programme, tourists must take an international flight directly to Phuket International Airport (HKT) and stay at least 14 days on the island before they can visit other parts of the country
or venture out for multiple-day excursions in Phuket waters.

Who is eligible to enter?

Although the border is now open, not everyone is allowed free entry. Phuket Sandbox only allows travellers from low to medium-risk countries/territories to enter. The complete list can be foundhere.

The tourists must already be fully vaccinated with vaccines recognised by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) at least 14 days before arrival.


  • In addition to the usual travel documents, tourists need to prepare the following documents:
  • A vaccine certificate
  • A medical certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected, using RT-PCR method, issued no longer than 72 hours before departure
  • A Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Thai Embassy in the country of origin
  • A health insurance policy with at least US$100,000 coverage in case of COVID-19 infection

Covid-19 Testing

Once travellers arrive in the Kingdom of Thailand, there will be three mandatory Covid-19 tests awaiting them. The first test is performed upon arrival, which means travellers need to stay in an allocated hotel
room for a night to wait for their result. If the result is negative, they can then leave their room.

The second test will be on days 6-7 and the third on days 12-13 which can be done at the tourist’s hotel, residence, or an outside laboratory.

Where to stay and what to visit

Travellers are required to stay in an SHA+ (SHA Plus) accredited hotel in the province for a period of 14 days before they can travel to other parts of the Kingdom. SHA+ is a certificate introduced by the Amazing
Thailand Safety and Health Administration to guarantee that a venue or business has at least 70% of its staff inoculated.

Boat Lagoon Yachting is a proud recipient of SHA+ accreditation by the Amazing Thailand Safety & Health Administration. We welcome international and domestic travellers to stay aboard one of our yachts during
their time in Phuket.

With the reopening of Phuket to foreign travellers under the Phuket SandBox scheme, the government aims to instill confidence in tourists by creating this SHA+ certification. SHA+ certifies that Boat Lagoon
Yachting has public health measures in place for COVID-19 and that more than 70% of its employees are fully vaccinated. With SHA+, clients can have peace of mind when booking a yacht charter with us, knowing that we have health and safety
protocols in place to protect you while onboard and onshore.

So, despite being relatively grounded for 14 days, you can still have an amazing time enjoying various tourism activities and visiting all the SHA+ establishments throughout the island.

Some interesting ideas include:

  • Visiting Phuket Old Town – A cultural heritage site where East meets West.
  • Learning to surf – There is no better opportunity to familiarise yourself with the waves of the Andaman.
  • Renting a private yacht for a one-day excursion. A private cruise, sightseeing and swimming around the many islands of Phuket is an experience one cannot miss out

Visit Phuket’s Stunning Archipelago

Phuket has a wealth of facilities for marine tourism, with Phuket Town being the center of tourism for the Andaman Sea. Adventure can be found through a variety of activities, including snorkeling and swimming,
SCUBA diving, fishing, jet skiing, and much more. 

Phuket province is home to 39 islands, most to the east of Phuket Island. Notable islands to visit while on your yachting trip include:

  • Koh Racha: The Racha Islands (or Raya Islands, consisting of Racha Noi and Racha Yai) are best known as top diving and snorkelling destinations in
  • Maiton Island: A private island where you can berth your yacht and look for schools of dolphins 
  • Coral Island: Have fun with watersports like banana boating and jet skiing
  • Lon Island: An ideal romantic island getaway that’s close to Phuket
  • Coconut Island: Traverse mountainous rainforests and be rewarded with a great view of the Andaman Sea
  • Naka Island: A private beach and pearl farm with a vibrant local community

Khai Nok Island: Nicknamed “Cat Island”, Khai Nok is known for its scuba diving

Out of the Sandbox

Phuket Boat Lagoon Marina, Phuket Thailand

Phuket Boat Lagoon Marina, Phuket Thailand

After playing around in the “Sandbox” for two weeks, and with all the hurdles they must go through, it’s a given that travellers would want to venture out to the bigger playground. In such cases, there are rules
pertaining to this as well.

For those who wish to travel outside of Phuket by land, they must go through the Tha Chatchai checkpoint and present the
following documents:

  • A government-approved stamp in their passport indicating the length of stay in Phuket
  • Evidence of COVID-19 testing, showing that COVID-19 was not detected during the 14-night stay in Phuket
  • Proof of stay in a SHA+ establishment in Phuket

And for soul-searching travellers who prefer travelling by yacht to other beachy towns, you must depart from designated ports and piers as follows:

o   Phuket Boat Lagoon Marina (where Boat Lagoon Yachting is located)

o   Ao Por Grand Marina Pier

o   Yacht Haven Marina Pier

o   Royal Phuket Marina

o   Chalong Pier

You must also notify the regional port authority, Phuket branch, or the COVID-19 Epidemic Monitoring and Control Operations Centre in Phuket Province at least 6 hours before departure, presenting:

  • Their passport and visa validated by Phuket Airport Immigration
  • Evidence of COVID-19 testing, showing that COVID-19 was not detected during the 14-night stay in Phuket
  • Proof of stay in a SHA+ establishment in Phuket

Yachting Excursions

One of the most popular activities for tourists in Phuket is to charter a yacht for a multi-day expedition on Phuket’s waters. Unfortunately, those interested will have to wait until after their 14-day ground stay
is finished.

Once they are permitted to travel, travellers must also depart from the designated piers as above, while also following additional procedures, including:

  1. Registering for the tracking system and reporting through the application as prescribed by the government
  2. Passenger vessels must be equipped with an automatic identification system (AIS, not lower than Type B) and equipped with VHF radios ready for use at all times and in accordance with Marine Department
  3. The ship/boat owner, operator or shipowner’s representative must provide notification of the ship entering and leaving the port according to the report form along with presenting the correct documents to the
    officers according to Article 2 for inspection before the ship/boat departs the port or when the ship has finished berthing. The procedure requires the following:

a. Vessels in-out port report form

b. List of passengers and captain/crew

c. Insurance account or policy must be commensurate for the passengers embarking on the ship (if any).

d. Port operators, shipmasters, ship operators, seafarers, crew, ship staff and passengers shall comply with the Notification of the Harbour Department No. 8/2564 dated
January 11, 2021, regarding the requirement that ship operators

Port operators, ship owners, ship operators and passengers in the event that a state of emergency is declared in all localities throughout the Kingdom in terms that are not strictly specified in this

Huge Efforts, High Rewards

Even though the Sandbox programme is multi-faceted, and there are a lot of points and measures to consider, for foreigners visiting Thailand for the first time in more than a year, the rewards are, in fact,

The southern province is, more than ever, ready to welcome you to experience its tropical treasure. The white sandy coastline has been practically untouched, the marine life undisturbed, and the city replenished.
The first groups of international travellers are guaranteed to enjoy the best benefits Phuket can offer.

For well-deserved luxury travel, book an expedition on a private yacht during your long-stay holiday in Phuket. Experience the exquisite natural scenes of the exotic islands aboard your own yacht where you can
relax, have fun, and even work if you need to, while listening to the sound of waves as your background music. Soul-searching, life-indulging, and mind-rejuvenating.

Boat Lagoon Yachting is one of Asia’s largest and most reputable yacht importation, distribution, and after-sales service organisations, representing some of the world’s most prestigious yacht brands. To learn more
about our available boats, yachts, superyachts, and charter services, please call or contact us. Our social media channels are also full of videos highlighting our beautiful yachts and boats as well as great destinations to visit aboard your
own luxury watercraft. 

Let us customise your next yacht trip during your stay in Phuket by contacting us online or call +6694-959 5957. We are ready to help you every step of the way.