By T+L SEA Staff
Jul 15, 2021
NOW THAT THE FIRST BRICK of the border wall has come down, Thailand is trying to keep up the momentum in opening its most popular tourist destinations to vaccinated visitors.
Koh Samui, a lush paradise in the Gulf of Thailand, reopened July 15 to vaccinated travelers arriving from abroad using a more gradual approach than Phuket, Thailand’s biggest island, which reopened its international border July 1. They’re calling it Samui Plus — think of it as “gently, gently.”
The program allows arrivals to fly directly into Koh Samui international airport or transit in Bangkok via an approved airline.
Once in Samui, you need to stay at a Samui Extra+ (AQ) hotel for your first week. After remaining on the hotel grounds for three days, you can zoom around the island to via approved transport methods to designated areas, including restaurants, within a “sealed route.” (It’s akin to the tourism bubble program Sri Lanka reopened its borders with in January.)
After testing negative for Covid-19 a second time, on day seven you’re allowed to move to an SHA+ hotel (meaning all the necessary health and hygiene parameters, and at least 70 percent of the staff have been fully vaccinated) on Samui, or neighboring Koh Pha-Ngan or Koh Tao, and you can frolic about those three islands for the entire second week. After your third negative test, the rest of Thailand is yours for the exploring.
Check out our handy guide below, and see visitsamui.org/samuiplus for all the details.