Bangkok, 05 August, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to report that H.E. Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, has been maximising his 14-day stay under the “Phuket Sandbox” programme with a number of public and private activities that reiterate the island’s health and safety in place to ensure the measures for both tourists and the local people.

Mr. Phiphat arrived in Phuket on 26 July, 2021, along with a high-level entourage of sports officials who accompanied Thailand’s first Olympic Games 2020 taekwondo gold medallist, Ms. Panipak Wongpattanakit, and the rest of the Thai taekwondo team, back to Thailand from Japan via Singapore.

The group returned to Thailand via Phuket because the island’s Sandbox programme allows fully vaccinated international arrivals to experience its world-famous tourism appeal without the need to quarantine.

Available to Thais and non-Thai nationals coming from the approved list of countries/territories, the Phuket Sandbox programme has been structured to ensure health and safety protocols are observed, while at the same time allowing tourists to enjoy themselves amid the world-famous appeal of the destination.

Japan and Singapore are both on the approved list of countries/territories from where fully vaccinated travellers can travel to Phuket, stay there for 14 days, before being allowed to continue the journey to other Thai destinations provided that they test negative for COVID-19.

Mr. Phiphat and his entourage arrived in Phuket from Singapore aboard Singapore Airlines, one of a number of international airlines that have been flying direct to Phuket on a weekly basis since the Phuket Sandbox programme was launched on 1 July, 2021. Their stay in Phuket has marked the importance of the destination in the gradual reopening of Thailand to tourism.

During his stay, Mr. Phiphat who tested negative on both Day 0 and Day 6-7 has been taking part in a number of activities to show the world that Phuket’s famed beaches, sporting activities, the Old Town, cuisine, and many more memorable experiences await all visitors.

He also chaired a meeting with Phuket’s public and private sectors to discuss how to ensure continuity of the Phuket Sandbox programme, while applying stricter health and safety protocols.

In addition, during his participation in the ‘Big Cleaning Day’ activity on Patong Beach, Mr. Phiphat noted the observance of health and safety measures by both tourists and the locals, and the acceptance by all of how important it is to create a balance between this and the gradual revitalisation of tourism in Phuket.

As per the ‘Sandbox’ requirements for entering Phuket, Mr. Phiphat and his entourage are staying at Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra Hotel for their mandatory 14-night stay on the island. If tested negative in their third COVID-19 testing, they will be allowed to continue their journey to other Thai destinations. Albeit Thailand’s heightened measures, including a lockdown in 29 dark-red zone provinces, domestic transportation out of Phuket can be arranged via SHA+ certified hotels and local tour companies.

Phuket is designated as a Controlled Area with less restrictions as in the dark-red and red zones. There is no curfew in Phuket. Malls, restaurants, convenience marts, markets and sports venues are open with integrated COVID-19 control measures in place. See: Phuket updates COVID-19 control measures during 3-16 August 2021

For more information on Phuket Sandbox, see:

General Information – Phuket Sandbox

Phuket Sandbox FAQs

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