Laos has extended its lockdown Covid-19 prevention measures across the country for a further 15 days as the community spread of Covid-19 in the nation’s capital continues.
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 as the situation in neighboring countries remains risky and community spread continues in Vientiane Capital, the lockdown order, Prime Ministerial Order 15/PM, would be extended until midnight, 4 July.
Measures to Remain in Place
Under the extended lockdown measures, contact tracing and coordination between local authorities and health officials, as well as testing and vaccinations will continue.
Pubs and bars, karaoke bars, entertainment venues, snooker halls, massage parlors, spas, and internet cafes are to remain closed.
Indoor sports centers are to remain closed, while contact sports such as football and martial arts remain prohibited in Vientiane Capital or any province with an outbreak.
All educational institutions in Vientiane Capital are to remain closed except for those with boarding facilities.
All factories and handicraft operations in red zones are to close, except for those wherein employees have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and have dormitories on site, or those producing essential materials.
Entry into red zones will remain prohibited, except for persons authorized by the Taskforce or local authorities.
Gatherings or parties of any kind may not be held at any location.
Covid-19 prevention measures such as temperature checks, social distancing, wearing facemasks, and using hand gel will remain in place for all retail shops, minimarts, and supermarkets, as well as fresh markets and any areas of risk.
Measures That Have Been Eased
Shopping malls, retail shops, supermarkets, minimarts, and fresh markets that comply with Covid-19 prevention measures may remain open.
Outdoor exercise and non-contact sporting activities are permitted.
Hairdressers and barbershops that are not in a red zone may open for business, however, they must ensure social distancing can be maintained and must comply with all Covid-19 prevention measures.
Restaurants may continue to provide dine-in services in green zones, however, tables must be organized at least one meter apart, while service of alcohol is prohibited. Restaurants must strictly comply with all Covid-19 prevention measures.
Events or activities with under 50 participants may be held in areas that are not red zones but social distancing and other Covid-19 prevention measures must be strictly enforced.
Boats may be used for fishing activities in rivers that act as borders with neighboring countries between 8 am and 6 pm only, while local authorities are tasked with strictly monitoring and reporting all boat activities.
Travel within localities that have not experienced an outbreak may continue as usual.
Land and air transportation may resume between Vientiane Capital and other provinces across the country for passengers who have been fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine without a requirement of 14 days quarantine. Airline or transportation employees and passengers must ensure to check their temperatures, wear a facemask, wash hands regularly or use hand gel.
Drivers of interprovincial freight transportation vehicles may deliver their cargo to their destination without unloading their cargo during the trip. Drivers will no longer be required to undertake Covid-19 tests or quarantine at their destination province for 14 days but must comply with Covid-19 measures outlined by the Taskforce.
International freight and cargo transportation will be required to comply with previous Covid-19 prevention measures as determined by the Taskforce and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
Government offices and businesses in Vientiane Capital may consider allowing their personnel and employees to return to work as normal if they believe their work environment can ensure social distancing measures, or if all personnel has had two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Any workplace that cannot ensure social distancing of at least one meter at all times must continue to rotate staff.
Classes may resume at educational institutions including pre-school, general education (primary schools and secondary schools), universities, and vocational colleges in provinces with no community spread of Covid-19.
Tourist sites and food gardens may reopen in provinces without community spread of the virus but are prohibited from serving alcohol.