New sandbox programmes kick off on 11th January 2021


The past two months saw the rise and pause of the Test & Go programme. The rapid spreading of the new variant has caused officials to temporarily halt Thailand’s one-night quarantine schemes indefinitely.

While this comes as unfortunate news to arrivals, it is still possible to enter Thailand through the nation’s “Sandbox” initiatives. Originally only available in Phuket, the Sandbox scheme will also be applied in Krabi, Phang Nga and Surathani from 11th January 2021.

Here’s what you should know about the new inititatives.

Recent stories by The Smart Local, Thailand:


Surathani, Phang Nga and Krabi to implement “Sandbox” protocols


The new Sandbox programmes are confirmed to start on 11th January 2021, as reported by Bangkok Post.

As per Phuket Sandbox protocols, visitors must undergo two RT-PCR tests:

  • One upon arrival
  • One at their SHA Extra+ hotel five-six days after arrival

These three locations – Phang Nga Krabi and Surathani – feature favourite tourist destinations like Koh Samui and Koh Tao.


Thailand continues to aid tourism industry


While the Test & Go programme incentivised multiple travellers to fly into the nation over recent months, the rise in Omicron cases has led to a temporary pause on the scheme.

Understandably, tourism providers are concerned about the loss of revenue that comes with the decrease of arrivals.

However, these new Sandbox initiatives are said to be part of the effort to continue rejuvenating the tourism sector, according to Bangkok Post.


Stay safe & shop local


After experiencing a taste of semi-normalcy last month, the announcement of stricter travel protocols definitely stung. We imagine that these tourism providers are also feeling a little disappointed.

However, it’s also important to keep in mind that these protocols are put in place to keep us and those around us safe from this invisible danger.

In the meantime, it’s important to do your part in curbing the spread by wearing a mask, washing your hands and maintaining social distancing.

Furthermore, we’re sure providers would greatly appreciate any financial assistance. So, maybe before jetting off to foreign countries when we can, try seeing the wonders that Thailand has to offer: we’re pretty sure the providers will be more than pleased to welcome you.


Cover images adapted from (Clockwise from Top Left): nobutsaboutme via Pixabay

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