The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a notice to all checkpoints bordering China to temporarily suspend the issuance of tourist visas to those entering the Lao PDR from China.
The notice reads, “due to the outbreak of the new Coronavirus originating in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, which has spread rapidly across China and other nations, causing widespread illness and death, in order to protect our nation from the threat of this virus, the consular department instructs all international checkpoints bordering China to temporarily suspend the issuance of tourist visas for entry into the Lao PDR for all visitors wishing to travel from China, commencing 2 February 2020 until further notice.”
The Lao PDR set up a task force last month to assess the impact of an outbreak of the new Coronavirus, although no case has yet been confirmed in the country.
In particular, the task force will conduct inspections in at-risk locations such as ports of entry, transport stations, hospitals, and markets, while arranging specialized healthcare service points across the country.
The country’s flagship airline, Lao Airlines, announced that it will temporarily cancel all flights from Vientiane to three destinations in China, namely Changzhou, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, as part of precautions in the wake of the virus outbreak.
As of February, no cases of the virus have been confirmed in Laos, and there is also no report of a confirmed case among Lao nationals living in foreign countries including China.