Covid Restrictions Extended as Laos Records 250 New Cases of Covid-19

Lockdown measures extended in Laos

Laos has extended Covid restriction measures until 18 August after confirming a further 250 cases of Covid-19 today.

Dr. Sisavath Southanilaxay led the announcement by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control today, accompanied by Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa.

Some 1,951 tests for Covid-19 were conducted over the last 24 hours, with 250 cases confirmed.

Thirteen cases of community spread were confirmed today, with four cases in Vientiane Province, four cases in Bokeo Province (Ton Pheung District), one case in Luang Namtha (originating in Ton Pheung), and four cases in Savannakhet, including one border official.

Dr. Sisavath said that the four cases in Vientiane Province were confirmed in Namon Village, Vang Vieng District.

Of the 237 imported cases, Vientiane Capital saw 78 cases, Vientiane Province saw two cases, Khammouane saw 30, Savannakhet recorded 63, Champasack saw 48, and Salavanh recorded 16 cases.

The country now has 3,392 active cases of Covid-19 and has confirmed seven deaths.

Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa

Covid Restriction Measures Continue

Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa, spoke during the announcement today regarding the extension of lockdown measures.

She said that the situation in neighboring countries remains unstable, with large numbers of migrant workers returning home to Laos each day.

Therefore, the lockdown order, Prime Ministerial Order 15/PM, will be extended until midnight, 18 August.

Measures to Remain in Place and Extra Measures

Under the extended lockdown measures, authorities will continue to monitor border areas and continue scans and temperature checks at all border checkpoints, as well as expanding quarantine centers and field hospitals in areas with large numbers of returning migrant workers.

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, spas, and internet cafes are to remain closed across the country.

Contact sports such as football and martial arts remain prohibited in any province with an outbreak.

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 of at least one meter, wearing facemasks, and using hand gel will remain in place.

Eased Measures

Shopping malls, retail shops, supermarkets, minimarts, night markets, and fresh markets that comply with Covid-19 prevention measures may remain open.

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 provinces without community spread, 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.

Foreign citizens who travel to Laos 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.

Passengers entering or exiting 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.

Provincial authorities in provinces with community spread or large volumes of returning migrant workers must determine strict measures regarding travel within the province and regarding travel in and out of the province.

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 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.

Indoor and outdoor fitness centers and stadiums in Vientiane Capital and provinces without community spread are now authorized to reopen, however, these must be legally registered businesses. Such businesses may not serve alcohol at their premises and must comply with all Covid-19 prevention measures.

Massage parlors may reopen in Vientiane Capital and provinces without community spread, however, patrons and service providers must be fully vaccinated with two doses Covid-19 vaccine. All massage parlors must close at 8 pm.

Vocational education, teacher training, and the final year of study for all educational institutions in Vientiane Capital may resume, however Covid-19 prevention measures must be strictly followed.

Finally, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa urged all residents to download the KYC application and make use of the Lao Sou Sou app to scan QR codes at locations that they visit in order to assist health officials in undertaking contact tracing.