Laos has extended its lockdown across the country for a further 15 days as Covid-19 continues to spread in the country.
Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa, spoke in a special announcement today regarding the efforts on the part of the nation to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
She said that because the situation was not yet fully under control, the lockdown order, Prime Ministerial Order 15/PM, would be extended until midnight, 4 June.
Additional measures are to include the closure of beauty parlors, hairdressers and barbershops, casinos, and gaming venues.
Districts in every province of Laos are to be divided into three color-coded zones in accordance with Covid-19 infection severity.
Any area or village designated as a red zone will be required to close any factories or handicraft operations in the area, except for factories with worker dormitories on their premises, or factories producing consumer goods, medicines, or medical equipment.
Individuals will not be allowed to enter or exit an infected area (red zone) or at-risk area (yellow zone) as determined by the Taskforce, except those authorized by the relevant local authorities for transportation of goods and delivery of food, medical, or hospital visits, or vaccinations.
Meetings or gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited in green zones, while gatherings are strictly prohibited in red zones.
The Taskforce urges the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by measuring temperatures, practicing social distancing (at least one meter), wearing a facemask, and washing hands.
The government is pleased to receive assistance from the private sector or the community, however, the Taskforce would like to provide guidance on the types of assistance required and its distribution in order to prevent the risk of infection.
Madame Thippakone said that Vientiane Capital and provincial authorities must issue detailed instructions on the implementation of new measures as appropriate, including how the new zoning measures will be implemented in each district.
She then explained that some measures would be relaxed.
Residents of areas where there is no infection in the community will be able to travel in and out of their local area normally.
Interprovincial land transportation between provinces without community outbreaks will be permitted.
Restaurants may open for business, however, dine-in is not permitted, and patrons may purchase takeaway meals only.
Schools, colleges, and educational institutions may open in areas where there has been no community transmission of Covid-19 for the past 14 days.
Outdoor exercise and sports will now be authorized, such as walking, playing golf, football, and other sports. However, the host of the sporting event or facility should make a detailed plan for the implementation of strict measures to prevent and control Covid-19 and then submit it to the task force and local authorities for approval on a case-by-case basis.
Drivers and transportation employees may deliver the goods between provinces without having to unload the goods during the trip, while transportation of goods between provinces will follow existing regulations.
Madame Thippakone called on all members of the population to continue exercising patience and working together to follow the guidelines of the Taskforce in reducing the spread of Covid-19 and embracing the “new normal.”
“The government is fully aware that the extension of these [lockdown] measures will create further difficulties for everyone in our daily lives,” said Madame Thippakone.
“But if everyone works together, within 15 days, the outbreak could be effectively controlled.”
She said that she had the highest hopes that the outbreak could be controlled and the spread reduced by following the measures outlined by the government.