Smiling Albino

COVID-19 Travel Updates

LAST UPDATED: 2 JUNE 20215 july 20211


The Thai government and Tourism Authority of Thailand have officially announced that Thailand will be reopening for international travelers from 1 July 2021 with the The Phuket Sandbox

Here are some of the details: 

  •  Vaccinated international travelers can travel to Phuket without quarantine. 
  • Guests under 18 can travel without being vaccinated. 
  • Visitors must stay in Phuket province for 14 nights. On day 15, guests can travel elsewhere in Thailand.
  • Guests must stay in their first accommodation for no less than 6 nights. 
The Phuket Sandbox is to be followed in September and October by other areas such as Ko Samui, Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok.

Other Thailand Reopening Updates

  • Thailand plans to waive its mandatory quarantine for vaccinated visitors to its capital Bangkok and top tourist destinations from October.
  • The new measure means easier access to hotspots like Pattaya, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Krabi and the capital Bangkok, which are among 10 provinces that will welcome tourists with proof of vaccination against Covid-19 from October 1.

Frequently asked questions

Who can travel to Phuket?

Everyone! (With a few caveats.) For travelers to be eligible for the quarantine-free arrival in Phuket, they have to be vaccinated. 

These are the protocols for which international guests may arrive into Phuket: 

  • Vaccinated travellers (over 18 years old) must do an RT PCR test on day 5 of their stay.

  • Non-vaccinated travellers (over 18 years old) will need to do an RT PCR test upon arrival and stay at ALQ (Alternative Local Quarantine) Hotel for 14 days.

  • International travellers between 12 and 18 years old will need to undergo a rapid antigen test at Phuket International Airport upon arrival. However, children under 12 years old can travel to Phuket with their parents and do not need to undergo any test.

Are other countries in Southeast Asia welcoming guests? 

At this time, Smiling Albino’s other Southeast Asia destinations, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are not yet allowing entry for ordinary international travelers.

When will other destinations in Thailand reopen?

Thailand is planning reopening the following destinations after the success of the Phuket reopening initiative: Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi and Pattaya. These reopenings are currently slated for 1 October 2021.

Similar to the Phuket reopening, it is our perception that this opening date will be pushed back to later in Q4. We will update monthly. Read more about Thailand’s reopening plan.

Will Southeast Asia be open for December travel and beyond?

We’re expecting that Q4 2021 will see vaccinated travelers being welcomed in some destinations. Each country is currently working on plans to reopen as quickly and as safely as possible. This is a great reference for Southeast Asia situation status by country.

Read our outlooks by destination below.



Travel for December 2021 and beyond is looking very likely. We expect certain key areas to be accessible by November/December, such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Chiang Mai, and possibly Bangkok.

Smiling Albino Outlook: Expected accessibility for vaccinated travelers in mid Q4 2021.


Vietnam is currently working on its own vaccination plans. As with many countries, there is a lot of speculation in terms of Vietnam’s reopening date. Under the current schedule, regular international commercial flights are planned to resume, without passengers being subject to quarantine upon arrival, after the acceptance of vaccination passports in Vietnam, starting in September. This will be dependent on the progress of COVID-19 vaccination and the level of herd immunity in Vietnam.

Key Points:

  • Vietnam may resume international inbound tourism flight routes this year. 
  • Phu Quoc and Ha Long Bay locations are being planned to implement the vaccine passport program soon and open up as first locations for inbound international travellers.
Smiling Albino Outlook: Expected accessibility for vaccinated travelers in Q1 2022.


At this time, Cambodia and Laos have not released specific reopening plans. We anticipate that these countries will follow the lead of Thailand, monitoring the country’s reopening success closely.

Smiling Albino Outlook: Expected accessibility for vaccinated travelers in Q1 2022.

What you need to know

Our team is keeping up to date with the ongoing changes in travel policies for inbound travel to Southeast Asia. 

If you require immediate assistance, please email us at
We also urge our partners and travelers to subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest information.

Need more information about what's happening in Southeast Asia?
Get in touch with us.

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