PHOTO Credit: Detlev Sarrazin

We are happy to report that the busy yachting hub and bluewater crossroads, Phuket, is again open for visiting yachts – as long as they comply with the special entry regulations dictated by the global Covid situation. It may not be the same simple arrival as before at Chalong Bay’s One Stop Shop at the pier, but it is a very well organised welcome, taking into account the current restrictions the world is facing. Thailand is now allowing yachts to arrive, report, anchor at a designated location in a safe location, and for the crew to undertake a compulsory 14-day quarantine on board their vessel. You are required to engage one of three appointed agents to process your arrival and the medical testing and any other needs you may have.

Before Arriving in Thailand

You are required to have a Certificate of Entry (CoE) before you can actually arrive in a Thailand port. This can be obtained by applying to a Thailand embassy or consulate in the country you are currently staying in. It is noted to allow up to twenty business days for this visa document to be issued.

Photo Credit: Detlev  Sarrazin

Health Insurance

You also need to have health insurance with coverage including COVID related treatment in Thailand in the amount no less than 100,000 USD for a period of at least 3-month validity from the date of departure and it should cover your period of your stay in Thailand. You might require a COVID 19 lab test by RT-PCR method showing negative results.

A recommendation for the insurance cover in Phuket is Eric Dohlan of Bangkok Insurance Brokers Ltd with offices based in Phuket. Eric is a rare commodity being born in Phuket but of Swedish descent and also a Thai citizen. You can contact Eric at to arrange the required cover. It can all be done online and payment can be by credit card of bank transfer.

Also required is a 14 day temperature check prior to arriving for the 14 day quarantine. Make sure you do that and register the results by date. Having this will not shorten you quarantine but it is needed regardless.

On-board Quarantine

The crew and passengers of each entering vessel must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on board their own vessels in a designated anchorage. This anchorage is located behind Ko Nakha Noi in 08 degrees 04.40N and 098 degrees 27.10E and has the downside of being open to any winds from the North which are predominant from November to around July. Accordingly, the anchorage can be choppy at times, especially with wind against tide.

You will be monitored by your AISB signal at Phuket Port Control at Chalong Pier. The authorities will know when you arrive and so will your designated agent. It is important to report promptly and to be at the allocated location on time.

Photo Credit: Bob Mott

On day one the COVID test team will arrive on schedule with eight people in total. Two of the group are naval officers that will photograph the crew and the boat to make sure its the they and the boat are the ones in the earlier submitted photo. A doctor and nurse are in the group from Siriroj Hospital Phuket both dressed in full PPE. They examine, temperature, blood pressure, chest sound, throat and nasal test. They all have a caring approach and are sympathetic to the situation of those aboard.

Quarantine Rules

  1. No moving of your boat
  2. Your tracker (issued by the doctor) must be worn at all times except between 1400 and 1600 when you will charge it
  3. Your AIS must remain on at all times
  4. Do not put your tender in the water
  5. No one is allowed to come aboard except officials

Agent Services and Other Costs

To organise your arrival, medical requirements and quarantine you are obliged to use the services of one of three agents.

These are:

Costs do vary. Some are boat related, some per person. The cost of the Covid 19 insurance is age related. There is a choice of hospitals where my medics came from, one cheaper than the other. When you choose an agent you get a quotation.

Photo Credit: Detlev Sarrazin

There is a lot of paperwork involved and patience is a big virtue. The old saying „hurry up and wait” for when you get to Asia very much applies. You will need photographs of the boat and all the crew. It may become a little overawing at times but the agents are very good and helpful. You will also require a booked Marina berth for your release day and it must be a proper booking with a proper receipt produced. If you plan on not using the berth it might not be a bad idea to have a cheaper berth if it can be arranged or even a berth for a 30-footer to keep the costs down.

Your agent can arrange provisioning while you are in quarantine but this would obviously come at a cost. A better solution would be to ensure self-sufficiency on board.

Alternative Quarantine

There is a way of possibly transforming your required quarantine into a holiday of sorts. If you want to leave your boat for the duration of the quarantine, why not check into one of the officially recognised quarantine hotels ashore, while leaving your boat in a marina or safe anchorage. More information on the hotels can be found here. However, this option would best have to be checked out in advance, by contacting either your agent or the government authorities before arrival in Thailand.

After the Quarantine

Once your quarantine is over and you are released, Phuket has a lot to offer on the water and on the land. It still is, as always, a great location for provisions with diverse produce, imported goods, local Thai markets and big commercial shopping centres. Across the board, strong efforts are made by all concerned to contain COVID. Most shops and shopping centres register your name and contact details and scan for temperature. They also offer hand wash gel for use on entry, during shopping and on departure.

Photo Credit: Detlev Sarrazin

Photo Credit: Bob Mott

Phuket – Local Shopping and Provisioning

A good example is Chalong Bay. A short walk from the bay’s anchorage you will find a number of Seven Elevens, restaurants and some excellent cafes. A slight bit further on are Villa Mart supermarket at Homepro Village, a well-stocked supermarket with imported and local produce. Homepro has all your handy man needs. Also, you will find a Starbucks, Lucky 13 sandwich and burger shop, chemists, franchise noodle shop, a sporting goods store and a computer store plus more. Approximately a kilometre south of the roundabout you will find a large Makro supermarket, a small Tesco Lotus shopping centre. Around 750 metres from the roundabout there is a Supercheap supermarket and a short distance after that the post office.

Rolly Tasker Sails Services

For all your sail repair needs, rigging, masts, deck hardware you cannot go past Rolly Tasker Sails! Our staff has a wealth of experience and we always have extensive stock of hardware, rigging materials and fittings. We are here to help all visiting yachtspeople! Have a look to our website to find more information including map where you can find us.

Cruising the Area

Once the 14 days are completed and your clear of COVID19 your then welcome to cruise the area that includes Phang Nga Bay, Krabi Province, Trang and Satun Provinces and Phuket. There are no other restrictions once the testing period has past other than the normal required reporting per maritime regulations.

A very handy publication for on the water information is the South East Asia Pilot, which is available through your agent or at the Rolly Tasker Sails loft.

For weather has proven to be quite accurate for the area and the charts also clearly indicate the Thai marine national parks where fees are due for vising tourists. There are also lots of locations to visit by water or land that do not involve national parks fees which are interesting, picturesque and well worth visiting.

Please note the situation can change any time depending on Covid situation and Official decisions. Above article is written on best knowledge, dated March 2021, and without any guarantees from our side. Please investigate the latest situation carefully before you enter Thailand.