Lockdown in Laos could be lifted on 3 May if no new cases of Covid-19 are confirmed, and the situation in neighboring countries remains stable, according to the national taskforce.
Laos went into full lockdown on 30 March under Prime Ministerial Order No. 06/PM, with measures prohibiting all residents to leave their homes except for essential grocery shopping, hospital visits, and any other tasks authorized by the government, such as work undertaken by essential workers.
In mid-April, the Prime Minister extended lockdown measures until 3 May.
The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control met yesterday to discuss the lifting of lockdown restrictions after the country has not had a confirmed case of the coronavirus in 15 days.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr. Somdy Duangdy.
The taskforce suggested that organizations be allowed to reopen their offices, ensuring civil servants can work as normal, while offices with the capacity to continue working from home may do so.
Restrictions to be lifted
People may be permitted to travel within their province as necessary.
Gatherings, meetings, training sessions, and religious ceremonies of under 50 persons may be held, so long as protective measures are implemented.
Outdoor sporting events will be allowed, however, participants may not number more than 50.
Plants, factories, and major development projects may resume operation provided they pass an inspection for proper precautionary measures against the coronavirus.
Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools will be permitted to reopen (on May 11th per ministerial recommendation).
The taskforce warns that despite the lifting of lockdown measures, people must remain vigilant and continue to apply strict infection prevention measures including wearing face masks, frequent handwashing, and temperature checks.
Certain measures to remain in place
The taskforce report recommends the continuation of certain lockdown measures after 3 May.
Non-essential travel between provinces will remain prohibited.
Local and international borders will remain closed for non-essential travel, and visas will not be issued to visitors from countries where Covid-19 is present.
Closure of Certain Businesses
Entertainment venues, karaoke bars, spas, and massage parlors, night market, and indoor sports facilities are to remain closed.
The report suggests lifting lockdown restrictions only if Laos continues its current trend of no new Covid-19 cases, and suggests taking into account the situation in neighboring countries as well.