Koh Samui opens to UK travellers

by Jessica Pook

Koh Samui in Thailand is welcoming fully vaccinated visitors in step two of the country’s reopening plans.

International travellers can now visit the islands of Koh Samui, Koh PhaNgan and Koh Tao in Thailand under the Samui+ Sandbox programme.

It is the first time that international travellers have been able to visit these islands since March 2020.

The Samui+ Sandbox programme marks the second step in Thailand's reopening plans (following Phuket’s Sandbox programme on July 1). Phuket has successfully welcomed almost 5,500 international arrivals in the last two weeks under the Sandbox programme.

To get to Koh Samui, UK travellers can travel to Bangkok with Thai Airways and connect with a Bangkok Airways flight to the island. 

Visitors must Obtain a Certificate of Entry, pre-book Samui Extra Plus or SHA+ accommodation, obtain travel insurance with COVID-19 cover (min $100,000) and download the Thailand Plus & Mor Chana apps before they travel.

Once on the island, visitors must present official proof of vaccination (both jabs), present a negative PCR test result (within 72 hours of departure from the UK), and produce a negative RT-PCR test on arrival. RT-PCR tests are also required on day six and day 13.

For the first three days visitors are able to leave the room to enjoy the hotel facilities. From nights four to seven travel on specified routes within Koh Samui, including Ang Thong National Marine Park, sunset cruises and wellness days are allowed and from the eighth night onwards visitors can travel around Koh Samui and onwards to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

Before leaving Koh Samui/Koh Phangan/Koh Tao to visit other areas of Thailand, clients must obtain a letter to prove they have completed a 14-night stay as per the guidelines.

Thailand’s reopening strategy will continue to roll out under an ‘Extension’ concept, seeing tourist favourites such as Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Khao Lak and Koh Yao start to welcome visitors again this summer. 

From September, further destinations and routes will start to welcome travellers including Chiang Mai in the north and Pattaya on the east coast.

From October onwards, Thailand aims to open Bangkok and nearby Hua Hin & Cha-Am.


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