Phuket, Koh Samui Thailand Expect To Open To Vaccinated Tourists October 1

Thailand is expected to roll out ‘vaccine passports’ this month, but this would only allow those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 to reduce their required quarantine from 14 days to 7 days.

Two popular resort areas are planning to re-open fully to vaccinated tourists by October, though: Phuket and Koh Samui.

  • Phuket businesses are funding a vaccination campaign to secure Sinovac doses for 70% of the destination’s adult population, without waiting for governments. Leaders expect this to allow the Thai government to approve a full waiver of quarantine for visitors arriving at their international airport, provided they do not travel the country.

    Westin Siray Bay, Phuket

  • Koh Samui, which has its own international airport as well, plans to welcome vaccinated travelers without quarantine starting in October, allowing tourists to travel to the nearby diving destination of Koh Tao and to Koh Phangan.

    Conrad Koh Samui

Thailand has managed the Covid-19 pandemic well. Despite identifying early cases outside of China at the start of the pandemic, the country hasn’t seen significant virus activity and 90% of early cases were asymptomatic. There was an uptick in late December and into January totaling upwards of 800 confirmed cases a day in the country of 60 million, attributed to Thais who snuck across the border back into the country, circumventing the country’s testing and quarantine regime.

Thailand as a whole is anticipating doses for half its population by the end of 2021. Just don’t ask the Prime Minister when you might be able to travel to Bangkok.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. This is their current plan, but it is still a long shot and very uncertain.
    Personally I don’t think it will happen as planned and visiting Thailand will still be out of reach this year.

  2. @gary any idea when they may allow families where adults are vaccinated and children aren’t? (Little kids can’t get vaccinated yet)

  3. Wow what a bummer! I booked tickets for late September. I already booked tickets and hotels but looks like I’ll have to cancel. I’ll wait a few more months but not looking good.

  4. Will be interesting to see if they move this up. Things are changing rapidly and I fully expect travel to most of the Americas and Europe to be open to people who have been vaccinated (and possibly even those that haven’t based on how the virus levels go down) by early-mid summer.

    I have a trip booked to Germany in September and just booked one to Panama for August.

    Can’t wait to get out into the world again – last international trip I took was to Argentina in September 2019 and that is WAY too long.

  5. @Bob – curmudgeon you are, kids will outlast you on this earth and urinate on your grave.

  6. @georg – I have the trip to Germany booked w miles and hotel points which I can easily cancel and get refunded to my account. This is the 3rd attempt at the trip (March 2020, November 2020 and now September 2021).

    Not sure why you say “good luck” – certain EU countries are already opening with vaccine and/or negative tests and I have every reason to believe by September a significant part of the world will be open to travel. May require a vaccine (which I’m getting next week), negative test (no problem with that) and masks/distancing there (unfortunately pretty used to that by now) but I fully believe this summer travel will open to support many countries’ economy so have every reason to believe a September trip to Germany won’t be a problem.

  7. Yea that is a pass. If I am going to fly around the world I want the ability to visit more of thailand (and ideally other countries in the region) than Koh Samui or Phuket. Giant tourist traps.

  8. I’m in Ko Samui now and its wonderful. Can rent villas for 10% of what they normally cost. I can’t see Thailand opening up any time soon as they have no local COVID immunity and will need to wait a long time to get vaccines going. The article didn’t mention you can still get into Thailand and enjoy it while its completely empty. You just need to Quarantine for 1-2 weeks (the duration seems to be dropping). Obviously you wouldn’t want to just come for a week but you can come and stay as long as you like and enjoy a COVID-free life, as well as the cheapest prices you will ever see for a luxury destination.

Comments are closed.