Koh Samui’s New 7-Day Samui Plus Sandbox Program

As of October 1, 2021, here’s how fully vaccinated international arrivals can visit Koh Samui without quarantine and with relaxed regulations.

samui plus sandbox

Photo by Mehendra/Getty Images/Canva

By T+L SEA Staff

Oct 1, 2021

THE LUSH IDYLL in the Gulf of Thailand that was named No. 7 top island by T+L readers in this year’s World’s Best Awards has made it easier to visit paradise with its new Samui Plus Sandbox program. As of October 1, international arrivals may visit Koh Samui without quarantine, under more relaxed regulations — and, after 7 days and two negative Covid tests, may travel elsewhere in the Kingdom of Smiles. See below for everything you need to know to book your trip to Thailand now.

1. Travelers wishing to participate in the Samui Plus Sandbox must arrive from an approved country, and they must have been in that country prior to departure for no fewer than 21 consecutive days

2. Must have a Certificate of Entry (COE). Application requires evidence of pre-payment for the required RT-PCR tests in the Sandbox (details below at #8)

3. A negative RT-PRC COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before travel

4. Adult arrivals must be fully vaccinated by an approved Covid-19 vaccine no fewer than 14 days before travel date

The following vaccines are accepted:

  • CoronaVac by Sinovac (2 doses needed)
  • AstraZeneca by AstraZeneca (2 doses needed)
  • AstraZeneca by SK BIOSCIENCE (Korea) (2 doses needed)
  • AstraZeneca by Siam Bioscience (2 doses needed)
  • AstraZeneca by Serum Institute of India (2 doses needed)
  • Janssen by Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. (1 dose needed)
  • Pfizer-BioNTECH COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer Inc. (2 doses needed)
  • Moderna by Moderna Inc. (2 doses needed)
  • COVILO by Sinopharm Co., Ltd. (2 doses needed)
  • Sputnik V by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology (2 doses needed)

Combination of different vaccines is accepted provided that the period between the 1st and 2nd dose was in accordance with the period set by the manufacturer of the first dose.

Photo by Cedric Arnold

5. Travelers under 18 do not require proof of vaccination, but must be traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians and show a negative RT-PRC Covid-19 test

6. Medical insurance covering Covid-19 expenses of at least US$100,000

7. May fly directly into Koh Samui airport, or transit through Bangkok airport via an approved airline. If connecting to Koh Samui in Bangkok, both flight tickets must be issued on the same booking itinerary and luggage must be checked through all the way to Koh Samui 

8. Must be tested by RT-PCR Covid-19 test twice at own expense on:

a) Date of arrival in Koh Samui
b) Day 5 in Koh Tao or Koh Phangan / Day 6 in Koh Samui

9. Must stay at a SHA+ hotel for 7 nights on Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao (maximum of 3 properties)

10. Family / friends / outside guests can stay with registered guests in hotels if they have been fully vaccinated and have tested negative within 72 hours

11. Hotels will have Covid testing kits available for guests

12. Pools are open, with certain social distancing regulations

13. Restaurants and other establishments can serve alcohol under a new Vaccine Green Zone program in which all staff and patrons are vaccinated, and all staff are tested weekly

14. On the ground transportation is controlled as follows:

a) Day 1 : Must use approved transportation and tour companies only.
b) Day 2-7 : Renting of private vehicles is allowed

15. For inter-island travel, only approved boats at approved ports can be used as follows:

  • Koh Samui: Available at Lomprayah Ferry (Pralan Pier), Phu Yai Non Pier, and Buri Rasa Pier (for hotel guests only)
  • Koh Phangan: Available at Thong Sala Pier
  • Koh Tao: Mae Haad Pier (Vibhavadi Sala)

16. Must download and install tracking applications “Samui Health Pass” and Mor Cha Na

17. Domestic travelers to Koh Samui coming from elsewhere in Thailand must be fully vaccinated and show a negative RT-PCR or ATK test taken within 72 hours before flight time

18. International travelers who stay in the Samui Plus Sandbox for fewer than 7 days must depart Thailand from Koh Samui or Phuket International airport only

19. See for more information

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