The islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan in Thailand’s Surat Thani province are home to hundreds of dive centres and resorts and, before the COVID-19 pandemic, were receiving millions of tourists each year to explore the islands.
Following on from the recent Phuket ‘Sandbox’ initiative, the Thai Government from 15th July will commence the Surat Thani ‘Sealed Route’ initiative, also known as ‘Samui Plus’, allowing foreign travelers who are fully vaccinated to enter Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan without quarantine. Although a number of rules and procedures are required to be met in order for a tourist to enter Thailand and eventually travel freely, it is a positive first step towards Thailand welcoming back foreign tourists.
In order for a foreign tourist to be accepted into the program, they must meet the following criteria.
Please note that this criteria and information is correct as of 13 July 2021 and is subject to change.
Have 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 before planned arrival date
Been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or the World Health Organisation (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.
Once the tourist has arrived in Thailand, they will need to follow a specific schedule in order to continue their stay as planned. Details of the complete pre, during and post travel schedule can be seen in the below.
For more detailed information and FAQs, review the Tourism Authority of Thailand TAT News Samui Plus FAQs.
For PADI Dive Centres or Resorts located in Surat Thani, we have compiled an overview of the Sealed Route initiative within a toolkit along with a selection of simple marketing assets you can customize and use to advertise the initiative.
These toolkit assets are available to be used by businesses of all types in Surat Thani and can be customized to include/exclude certain logos or images as desired.
The PADI team aims to support the Tourism Authority of Thailand initiative so, over time, we can welcome back more tourists and divers to one of the world’s most popular dive locations.
For more information please contact PADI Regional Manager for Thailand, Neil Richards.
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Asia Pacific, sealed route, ThailandPADI Pros