Laos Imposes Tougher Screening Procedures on Visitors from S Korea, China

Laos Imposes Tougher Quarantine Procedures on Visitors from S Korea, China

Laos has toughened its screening procedures for foreigners who wish to enter the country after visiting South Korea and China, citing coronavirus concerns.

All foreign nationals who have visited either China or South Korea in the past 14 days before entering Laos will be subject to tougher screening processes, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Visitors entering Laos from China or South Korea must fill in a health declaration form when entering Laos, while those who show symptoms of the virus such as fever will need to pass a close examination up to three times, the ministry said, without providing further details.

The South Korean ministry confirmed that such measures became effective from February 28.

Laos is the latest to join the list of countries that impose restrictions on visitors from South Korea.

More than 80 countries are imposing entry restrictions and tougher quarantine procedures for travelers from South Korea over renewed coronavirus concerns. Among them, a total of 37 countries are barring the entry of South Koreans and foreigners who have visited South Korea in the past few weeks.

The news comes after the Lao health authorities told travel agents in the country last week to suspend package tours to areas where the new coronavirus has been reported, especially South Korea.

Lao Airlines also decided to halt its flights to South Korea from March amid massive cancellations from passengers over coronavirus concerns.

Three South Korean budget airlines, namely T’way Air, Air Busan, and Jin Air, halted their flights between Laos and South Korea until end of March, also citing concerns over the virus.

South Korea reported 476 new cases of the coronavirus on March 2, bringing the total number of infections to 4,212. So far, 22 people have died there due to the virus.