Laos has extended lockdown measures until 19 July after confirming a further 32 cases of Covid-19 today.
Dr. Sisavath Soutthanilaxay led the daily briefing by the National Taskforce today, confirming 32 new cases of Covid-19 in Laos following 1,717 tests over the last 24 hours.
He said that new imported cases included nine in Savannakhet, 17 in Champasack, and three in Khammouane
Salavanh Province recorded one case of local transmission, while Vientiane Province recorded two cases of community transmission.
Vientiane Capital, meanwhile, has today reached its fifth day without a case of community transmission.
The total number of cases in Laos now stands at 2,244, with 210 active cases.
Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa, made an announcement today regarding the extension of lockdown measures.
She said that despite controlling the spread of the virus within Laos to some extent, the situation in neighboring countries remains risky, and the Delta strain has been confirmed within the country.
Therefore, the lockdown order, Prime Ministerial Order 15/PM, will be extended until midnight, 19 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, cinemas, 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 or provinces with community spread 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, cafes, tourist sites, and food gardens 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.
Conferences or meetings 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, water, and air transportation may resume between provinces that do not have community spread of Covid-19 without a quarantine requirement. Passengers entering or exiting Vientiane Capital or a province with community spread must ensure they have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine and will not be required to request travel authorization from their destination province, and will not be required to quarantine. However, airline or transportation employees and passengers must ensure to check their temperatures, wear a facemask, wash hands regularly or use hand gel.
Foreign citizens who travel to the Lao PDR and intend to travel to another province must submit a travel itinerary, evidence of 14-day quarantine, and authorization from the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control to relevant officials without having to undertake quarantine at the destination province.
Foreigners who reside in Laos or have been in Laos for some time will be allowed to travel under the same conditions as Lao citizens.
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 but must comply with Covid-19 prevention measures such as providing hand gel, wearing facemasks, and ensuring social distancing.
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.
The final year of study may resume for vocational colleges, teacher training colleges, physical education and arts schools, and schools delivering associate’s degrees in Vientiane Capital, while Covid-19 prevention measures must be strictly followed.
Indoor sports centers and fitness centers in provinces without community spread of Covid-19 may reopen. In Vientiane Capital and provinces with community spread, owners of indoor sports centers and fitness centers may apply for authorization to reopen with the National Taskforce or relevant provincial taskforce. Covid-19 prevention measures must be strictly enforced at all gyms and fitness centers and inspections will be made to ensure that businesses comply.