Laos Updates Covid-19 Prevention Measures, Grounds Charter Flights

Charter Flights Grounded under Updated Covid-19 Prevention Measures

The government of Laos released an update on Covid-19 prevention measures yesterday, extending current measures and instituting a ban on international charter flights.

Covid-19 prevention measures in place since July will continue until 31 August, including the closure of entertainment venues such as karaoke bars, nightclubs, and internet cafes.

The issuance of tourist visas for foreign visitors remains suspended, however in an additional step, the government has announced it will suspend charter flights.

Vice-Chairman of the National Task Force Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Associate Prof. Dr. Bounkong Syhavong stated in a press conference yesterday that the suspension of charter flights will be in place until the end of August, after which measures will be reviewed.

While local transmission has not been detected within Laos for some time, imported cases of Covid-19 remain a significant concern.

A 32-year-old Korean national traveling from Japan was confirmed as the 20th case of Covid-19 in Laos after the country enjoyed more than a hundred days without any new cases.

Meanwhile, thirty-four Chinese nationals were deported from Laos last week after being found to have entered the country illegally.

“If we fail to properly manage entry into our country, the risk of imported cases by foreign travelers remains high, as was the case in July,” Dr. Bounkong said during the press conference.

He said that if clusters of locally transmitted infections occur in two or more provinces, lockdown measures will be immediately re-imposed.

It is unclear how the ban on international charter flights will affect evacuation flights for foreigners wishing to return home, such as those arranged by embassies and consulates to the Lao PDR.


  1. By banning all Chartered flights ,even ones just coming to take people to thier home countries, they are leaving several hundred expats and tourists stranded. This is a severe violation of a human right. The government is essentially holding people hostage by keeping them againt thier will. I understand they dont want to import the virus. But what harm is there in allowing an empty plane to land just for a couple of hours ubtil passengers board and leave. I have several friends stranded in laos. Obe of them is about to give birth and doesn’t want to in Laos. I don’t think they’re ever going to come back and are likely to encourage others at home not to either.A huge blow to the future if tourism in Laos.

  2. In your article you mentioned how it is unclear how this ban will affect evacuation flights and tourists looking to leave. Well its been over 2 months now and i can tell you that it has severely affected them. If you want to get a feel of the desperation go to the Facebook page ‘Laos in the time of covid’ and look at posts from mid August. Are officials aware that several if thier ‘guests’ are still stranded in Laos and this has left them severely traumatized.


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