Health Officials Halt and Postpone Crowded Events Indefinitely

An undated photo of football fans in Khammouane. Photo credit: Lao Su Su FB Facebook Page

Health officials in Laos have strongly recommended local authorities postpone or cancel all public events and gatherings in a bid to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The Task Force Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control issued a series of public notices citing WHO guidelines, mandating that all local authorities in Laos cease, postpone, or limit both public and private cultural gatherings, entertainment events and other events which attract large crowds until the coronavirus threat subsides.

However, health authorities did say they will remain flexible if the event organizer is unable to cancel or postpone the event. In that case, the event must follow strict prevention measures to ensure a safe environment for everyone. Most importantly, event organizers are to check the body temperatures of attendees. If a person is found to exhibit symptoms such as high fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing, then that person must not be permitted to enter the event venue.

Official notice from the Task Force Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, dated March 2nd, 2020.

The above decision came a few days after the nation’s most significant sports event, Xieng Khouang Games, scheduled for late March to early April this year, were canceled for the same reason. This is the third time the national games have been postponed since being initially planned for November of last year.

The much anticipated Vientiane International Half-Marathon was also postponed this past weekend.