Frequently asked questions
What is SHA Plus?
A certificate awarded to an organisation proving that they have approved Covid-19 health and preventative protocols in place and that 70% or more of all employees have been fully vaccinated.
How important is SHA Plus to to those wishing to travel to Phuket from abroad?
Individuals who wish to enter Phuket as of 1st July 2021 as part of the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ initiative must have confirmed reservations at hotels which are SHA Plus certified. Confirmed hotel reservations must be submitted with the individuals ‘Certificate of Entry’ (COE) application at the time of submission in their home country's Royal Thai Embassy prior to traveling to Thailand.
-As of 1st July, 2021, Phuket, Thailand will be open to international travelers.
-There will be no quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers who are tested negative seventy-two (72) hours before arrival in Phuket.
-You must spend at least fourteen (14) nights in Phuket before being able to travel freely in the rest of Amazing Thailand.
-You may stay for less than fourteen (14) nights and return to your home country directly from Phuket.
1. Travellers are advised to avoid at-risk areas or crowded places no less than 14 days before their travel date.
2. Travellers must travel from countries/territories approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), per the guidelines of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), as proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS) and TAT, and must have been in the said countries for no less than 21 days before their travel date – except Thai nationals and foreign expatriates returning from overseas. They must register their travel via the designated system or website, and have the following documents:
- A certificate of Entry (COE).
- A medical certificate with a laboratory result by an RT-PRC method indicating that COVID-19 is not detected no more than 72 hours before their travel date.
- Copy of an insurance policy in English covering healthcare and treatment expenses for COVID-19 per applicant for the whole duration in Thailand with coverage clearly identified as no less than US$100,000.
- Copy of the payment confirmation for no less than 14 nights stay and RT-PCR tests at hotels approved by the MoTS or TAT. In the case that the length of stay is less than 14 days, travellers must present a confirmed flight ticket out of Thailand and payment confirmation for accommodation and RT-PCR tests at hotels that cover their intended duration of stay.
- A certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by the MoPH or the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before their travel date. Travellers under 18 years of age, travelling with their parents or guardians, must have a medical certificate with a laboratory result by an RT-PRC method indicating that COVID-19 is not detected no more than 72 hours before their travel date.
3. Travellers must undergo exit screening before departure.
1. Entry screening and Immigration and Customs procedures:
- Travellers on direct, non-stop flights to Phuket International Airport are subject to health screening and Immigration and Customs procedures at the point of entry. Click to see the “7-Step Flow at Phuket International Airport” or “7 Steps 7 Countdown”.
2. Download and install an alert application, as well as set the application on at all times for the whole duration in Thailand.
3. Proceed directly to the reserved hotel on approved airport transfer service.
4. Undergo a COVID-19 test (RT-PCR method) at own expense as per the following requirements:
-Taking the first test upon arrival and await the test results in the accommodation.
-Taking additional RT-PCR tests as per the following requirements:
-Travellers with the length of stay less than 7 days are required to take another test on Day 6 or 7, or as per the MoPH’s guidelines.
-Travellers with the length of stays between 10-14 days are required to take the second test on Day 6 or 7 and the third test on Day 12 or 13, or as per the MoPH’s guidelines.
-In the case that travellers are tested positive for COVID-19, travellers will be referred to specified healthcare facilities for medical treatment, for which the expenses must be covered by the required insurance.
5. If tested negative for COVID-19, travellers can go anywhere in Phuket
6. Travellers with an intended length of stay less than 14 days must leave Phuket (Thailand) immediately on an international flight to another country on or before their intended departure date.
7. Travellers who have completed 14 nights in Phuket will be allowed to continue their journey to other Thai destinations.
For travellers to Phuket:
Travellers who wish to visit Phuket only, no minimum stay is required but they must leave Phuket (Thailand) for another country on or before the intended departure date;
For travellers who wish to continue the journey to other Thai destinations, they must stay in Phuket for 14 nights, and thereafter will be allowed to travel domestically.
For travellers to Ko Samui:
During the 1st-3rd nights, travellers can leave their room for facilities and services within their accommodation only.
During the 4th-7th nights, travellers can travel on specified routes within Ko Samui only.
During the 8th-14th nights, travellers can travel between Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao.
Undergo a COVID-19 test using an RT-PCR method per the MoPH’s guidelines;
Travellers are advised to strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.
For travelling from Phuket to other Thai destinations, travellers are required to show a vaccine certificate and a medical certificate that they have tested negative for COVID-19;
For travelling from Phuket to other countries, travellers are advised to follow the guidelines and measures announced by the respective country of destination.
Children under 6 years of age must travel only with their parents or guardians who have been vaccinated;
In the case the parents or guardians are found to have COVID-19, the children are to be placed in isolation for 14 days.
The Phuket Sandbox is applicable only for fully vaccinated international travellers from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). *The list will be available soon.
High-risk countries are not allowed entry at this stage.
Visa & Certificate of Entry
Every traveller must obtain a Certificate of Entry (COE) at
Check the website to see the required documents;
Embassy/Consulate-General takes 3 working days to process the application;
Applicants can check the result of the application on the website.
Airlines that have announced direct flights to Phuket:
– British Airways
– Cathay Pacific
– El Al
– Etihad Airways
– Singapore Airlines
– Qatar Airways
Please check the flight schedule on the respective airline’s websites.
Please be aware that some airlines are unable to operate into your home country for your return.
Before Arrival in Phuket
You must get a medical certificate with an RT-PCR laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
At the Airport
You must download and install the alert application.
At Immigration, you are required to complete your arrival card, show your COE and passport.
SHA & SHABA & SHA Plus+
‘SHA’ is a certification for businesses who meet the basic standards of hygiene and health safety for their products and services in accordance with the nationwide measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
‘SHA Plus’ is a certification for companies/individuals who have received the SHA certificate AND 70% of the workforce has been vaccinated.
All travellers must get a SHABA confirmation letter with QR Code from a SHA Plus Hotel.
While in Phuket
You can go anywhere in Phuket, BUT you must strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.
Masks must be worn at all times in public areas and if there are two or more people in a vehicle.
You may be required to undergo a COVID-19 test using an RT-PCR or a rapid antigen method during your stay per the MoPH’s guidelines.
Q. Can a 2nd guest who is already resident in Thailand join a guest who has arrived ‘internationally’ into a ‘SHA Plus’ hotel?
A. Yes, providing the guest follows all rules stipulated for Thais and expats in Thailand.
Tours & Excursion
We recommend that you only book an excursion with ‘SHA Plus’ certified companies for your safety;
*Further information under review.
-After booking a SHA hotel, you are required to purchase 3 RT PCR test from your hotel and get the SHABA certification. Price for the 3 tests should be no more than 8500 Baht per person.
– Every hospital in Phuket can provide an RT-PCR test;
– The cost of an RT-PCR covid test ranges from 2,500-4,000 Baht per person.
– You can get a rapid test from hospitals, clinics, and private labs in Phuket;
– The cost of a rapid test ranges from 450-1,000 Baht per person. COVID-19 testing is at the travellers’ own expense.
We recommend that you only use ‘SHA Plus’ certified restaurants for your safety, but you may dine-in at non-certified restaurants, too.
Taxi & Transportation
We recommend that you use only ‘SHA Plus’ certified taxis and transportation, but you may use non ‘SHA Plus’, too if you prefer.
If there are more than 2 people in a vehicle, masks must be worn at all times.
Q. Is there is an app or website to be able to book SHA+ transport services?
A. Information will be available soon.
Q. Is GRAB taxi SHA+?
A. Information will be available soon.
Q. What’s open?
A. Information will be available soon.
If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, you must immediately get a test. If you travel in a group, everybody in the group must undergo a test.
In case you are tested positive for COVID-19 in Thailand, you will be responsible for the medical expenses which must be covered by your insurance.
After spending 14 nights in Phuket and you are tested negative for COVID-19, you are free to go anywhere in Thailand but you must follow each province’s restrictions.
For travelling from Phuket or Samui-Phangan-Tao to other Thai destinations, travellers are required to show proof that they have completed a 14-night stay along with the other required documents per the guidelines and measures announced by the respective province of destination.
You must follow your home country’s entry requirements, and Thailand is not responsible or able to assist with such updates by individual countries.
Samui Extra Plus FAQs
Preparing for Travel
Q: What do foreign travelers planning to visit under the Samui Plus program need to know/do before they travel?
A: They should make sure they have covered all the necessary requirements and have all the required documentation. This includes:
A passport with at least 6 months validity;
Have been in a Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) approved country for 21 days or more;
Been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or the World Health Organization (WHO);
Have booked and purchased return air travel;
Have booked and paid for accommodation, and required RT-PCR test/s at a Samui Extra Plus or SHA Plus hotel;
Have purchased medical insurance with COVID-19 treatment coverage of at least US$100,000;
Have tested negative for COVID-19 no longer than 72 hours before travel.
Q: Does the required documentation need to be in English?
A: Yes, all documentation must be in English only. If the paperwork is not complete, the visitor will be placed in ALQ for 14 days or until they can leave Thailand, the expenses of which the visitor must cover.
Q: What countries/territories am I allowed to travel to Thailand from?
A: The list can be viewed here.
Q: If I am travelling with a child under the age of 18, does he/she need to be fully vaccinated?
A: Children under 18 are not required to be vaccinated if travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians, but must have tested negative for COVID-19 no longer than 72 hours before travel.
Q: If I am a Thai national or foreign resident of Thailand who is returning from overseas, do I need to have been in a CCSA-approved country for 21 days or more?
A: No, it is not necessary to be in a CCSA-approved country for 21 days or more, as long as you are travelling from an approved country.
Q: What flights can I take to Samui?
A: You can fly to Samui on a direct international flight or international flight via Bangkok and being connected with approved sealed flights as details below. For the flight via Bangkok, the ticket must be issued on the same booking with international flight in conjunction with such approved Bangkok-Samui-Bangkok flights. Any flight reservations booked separately will not be allowed.
Q: Why do I have to use a Samui Extra Plus and SHA Plus accommodation?
A: It is for your added safety, as these are hotels which are government approved with respect to required health and safety measures.
Samui Extra Plus hotels are specially assigned for travelers under the Samui Plus program in order to differentiate from the AQ system. All Samui Extra Plus hotels are acknowledged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate-General processing of the Certificate of Entry (COE) application. These hotels are formerly ALQ hotels (now referred to as AQ hotels).
See: Samui Extra Plus hotels launched for international visitors to Samui, or click on this link to download the list of Samui Extra Plus hotels (link).
SHA Plus certification indicates a hotel meets the safety measures to control COVID-19, and also that 70% of its workforce has been fully vaccinated. SHA Plus properties can be viewed here.
Q: Do I have to stay at a Samui Extra Plus hotel for the first 7 nights?
A: Yes. Visitors from overseas staying 14 nights must stay at a Samui Extra Plus on Koh Samui only for the first 7 nights, after which they can move to a SHA Plus hotel on Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao for the other 7 nights.
Q: Can I stay at a Samui Extra Plus hotel in Samui for the first 7 nights, then move to another hotel in other province; such as, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, or Chon Buri for the next 7 nights?
A: No, this is not permitted. You have to stay in Samui (plus Koh Phangan or Koh Tao) for 14 nights first before you can travel to another destination in Thailand.
Q: Can I stay at a Samui Extra Plus hotel in Samui for the first 7 nights, then move to another hotel in other nearby island, such as, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao for the next 7 nights?
A: Yes, providing that you move to a SHA Plus hotel.
Q: Can I stay at a Samui Extra Plus in Samui for less than 7 nights; for example, only 5 nights, and then leave Samui for another country?
A: Yes you can, but you must not be traveling from Samui, Koh Phangan, or Koh Tao with a group of people unless it is the same group with which you came to Thailand.
Q: Does this mean that, likewise, after 5 nights in Samui, I can travel to other Thai destinations?
A: No, you cannot. You must leave Thailand immediately.
If you want to visit other Thai destinations, you need to first complete a 14-night stay in Samui. This can be 7 nights in a Samui Extra Plus hotel on Koh Samui plus 7 more nights at a SHA Plus hotel/s on Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, or Koh Tao.
Applying for the Samui Plus Program
Q: How can I apply for the program?
A: Providing you meet all the above points, you can go to https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/ to apply for a Certificate of Entry (COE).
Q: Will I be notified of the application result?
A: Yes, if you have provided a valid email when you register.
Q: Do I need to apply for a visa?
A: Yes, if required.
Day of Travel
Q: Do I need to bring all the documentation that was required for the COE with me?
Q: Will I have to undergo exit screening at my point of departure?
A: Yes. Please note that if your temperature exceeds the safe limit, you will be denied boarding.
Arrival in Samui
Q: What is the procedure after disembarking from my flight?
A: You must pass through health and control and Immigration procedures, and then travel directly to your hotel.
Q: After I clear health control and Immigration, do I need to proceed directly to my hotel?
A: Yes. You will need to go straight to your hotel where you must wait for the test result.
Q: Can I stop on the way to the hotel for any reason?
A: No, this is not permitted.
Q: Can I take public transportation for the airport-hotel transfer?
A: No. The transfer is pre-arranged.
Q: How long will I have to wait for my test result?
A: The result will be available within the first day of your arrival.
Q: If I test positive, what will happen?
A: You will be sent to a hospital for appropriate treatment, and will need to pay the expenses which should be covered in your insurance.
Q: Where can I go in Samui?
A: After waiting for the test result in your hotel room on first arrival (Day 0) and the result is negative, you can travel around as follows:
• Day 1-3: Can leave the hotel room for designated areas in the hotel only;
• Day 4-7: Can travel within designated routes and on tour programs on Ko Samui only;
• Day 8-14: Can travel within Ko Samui, Koh Phangan and Ko Tao;
• Day 15: If the last test on Day 12-13 is negative, can go anywhere in Thailand.
At all times, visitors must strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.
Masks must be worn at all times in public areas and in any vehicle with two or more people.
Visitors must also abide by the measures put in place by Surat Thani province during their stay.
Q: How do I count the days?
A: If you arrive during 00.01-18.00 Hrs., the day is Day 1.
If you arrive during 18.01-00.00 Hrs, the day after is Day 1.
Q: What transportation, tours and excursions, and restaurants should I use while in Samui plus Koh Phangan and Ko Tao?
A: During their stay, visitors must use approved transportation and tour companies only. Renting of private vehicles is not permitted.
For island travel between Ko Samui, Koh Phangan and Ko Tao, only approved boats at approved ports can be used; public boats must not be used.
For those visitors staying longer than 14 days, public transportation can be used from the 15th day onward.
For dining, it is recommended that you use SHA Plus restaurants although this is not compulsory.
Q: Can my friend/family member who is already in Samui, Ko Phangan or Ko Tao join me at my hotel?
A: This will depend on Surat Thani’s health and safety measures stipulated for Thais and expats in Thailand.
Q: How many more tests must I do during my stay?
A: If your stay is less than 7 days, you must take one more test on Day 6-7.
If your stay is between 10 and 14 days, you must take more tests on Day 6-7 and Day 12-13.
If your stay is less than 5 days, you are not required to take an additional test, but you must leave Thailand immediately.
Q: Where can I get an RT-PCR test done in Samui?
A: At approved hospital/s. The cost for your required RT-PCR test/s must be prepaid when booking for accommodation at a Samui Extra Plus or SHA Plus hotel.
Q: Must a test be prepaid?
A: All required testing must be booked and prepaid through your hotel; the number of tests depends on the duration of your stay.
Q: What should I do if I feel unwell, or suspect possible COVID-19 infection?
A: Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must immediately get a test done. If the person is travelling in a group, every person in the group must undergo a test.
Q: What happens if I test positive?
A: In the case a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 in Thailand, he/she will be responsible for the medical expenses, which should be covered by the required insurance.
Q: I plan to visit one or more other destinations in Thailand after my Samui visit. Will I face entry requirements at these other places?
A: Yes, of course. Each destination in Thailand has entry requirements, and you should check on these beforehand to make sure you meet them.
Q: What about entry requirements of the country/territory I will fly to after my stay in Thailand?
A: It is up to you to make sure you meet the requirements of your specific international destination. Thailand is not responsible or able to assist on this matter.
As Samui joins Phuket in reopening to visitors from around the world, we wish everyone an enjoyable, safe, and rewarding holiday. We’re sure you will join us in hoping the ongoing safe revitalization of Thailand’s nationwide tourism sector is achieved as envisioned.