To ensure visitors have the best possible time under the Samui Plus programme, here is a user-friendly checklist of points covering before, during and after travel.
Preparing for Travel
Q: What do foreign travellers planning to visit under the Samui Plus programme 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 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.
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: Here’s the list.
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. However, in the last 21 days before your travel date to Thailand, you must not be travelling to or staying in country outside of the CCSA-approved list.
Q: What flights can I take to Samui?
A: From 1 August, 2021, you can fly to Samui on a direct international flight or international flight via Bangkok and connect with the approved twice daily ‘sealed route’ flights operated by Bangkok Airways between Bangkok and Samui as per the details below.
Flight PG5125 which departs Bangkok at 12.00 Hrs. and arrives at Samui at 13.30 Hrs.
Flight PG5126 which departs Samui at 14.10 Hrs. and arrives at Bangkok at 15.40 Hrs.
Flight PG5171 which departs Bangkok at 17.10 Hrs. and arrives at Samui at 18.40 Hrs.
Flight PG5172 which departs Samui at 19.20 Hrs. and arrives at Bangkok at 20.50 Hrs.
For the flight via Bangkok, the ticket must be issued on the same booking with the 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 travellers under the Samui Plus programme 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 Ko Samui only for the first 7 nights, after which they can move to a SHA Plus hotel on Ko Samui, Ko Phangan or Ko 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 Ko Phangan or Ko 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, Ko Phangan or Ko 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 travelling from Samui, Ko Phangan, or Ko 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 Ko Samui plus 7 more nights at a SHA Plus hotel/s on Ko Samui, Ko Phangan, or Ko Tao.
Applying for the Samui Plus Programme
Q: How can I apply for the programme?
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 enroute 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 programmes on Ko Samui only;
• Day 8-14: Can travel within Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan 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 Ko Pha-ngan 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, Ko Pha-ngan 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 traveller 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 revitalisation of Thailand’s nationwide tourism sector is achieved as envisioned.