If you’re enjoying summer in Europe or elsewhere, plan your winter: you can now travel to Koh Samui or two other islands for holiday without quarantine.
On 15 July 2021, three islands in the Surat Thani province quietly reopened to fully vaccinated tourists without quarantine. The three islands are Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, known for their tropical beauty and are popular tourist destinations.
Safe holiday in Thailand is possible—if you’re responsible
Thailand is going for a strategy that allows you to enjoy a safe holiday, while minimising the risk for COVID-19 infections. This means certain destinations will be opened up one by one as sandboxes to allow tourists to travel to and remain there, while separating the vulnerable areas of the country from quarantine-free tourists.
On 1 July Thailand started the Phuket Sandbox. This means if you’re fully vaccinated for more than 14 days, you can travel to Phuket without quarantine. You have to provide a negative RT-PCR test result, book at a SHA-Plus certified hotel, and stay in Phuket for 14 nights before proceeding to anywhere else in Thailand.
The Samui Plus programme has similar conditions (correction 26 July: the difference is that for Samui Plus you can only stay in your hotel designated area for the first three days—see instructions on this page), but you can move to either of the other two islands after staying on Koh Samui for 7 nights. There’s a catch: you need to get the approved Bangkok Airways flight to Koh Samui on the same booking as the flight you take to arrive in Thailand. No worries—you can directly search for Koh Samui (USM) as the destination on airline websites—with the price approximately the same as Bangkok itineraries.
These quarantine-free destinations have a high level of vaccinated locals, so you can travel there knowing that both you and your hosts will be safe.
Next step: orienteering holiday in Thailand?
Thailand plans to reopen fully in October with no quarantine for fully vaccinated tourists. This means that you can explore the Kingdom again for orienteering, hiking and other outdoor sports!
In October and November, we’ve planned the Thailand International Orienteering Championship 2021 in Pattaya, with races around the city and at famous locations like Jomtien Beach and Koh Larn.
We’re considering also the possibility of a spring training camp on Koh Samui in 2022. Stay tuned!