Laos has extended Covid restriction measures until 2 September after confirming a further 284 cases of Covid-19 today.
Dr. Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh 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 2,456 tests for Covid-19 were conducted over the last 24 hours, with 284 cases confirmed.
Nineteen cases of community spread were recorded, including two cases in Bokeo, and 17 cases in Savannakhet.
Meanwhile, some 265 imported cases were recorded, with 82 in Champasack, 66 in Khammouane, 63 in Savannakhet, 44 in Salavanh, seven cases in Vientiane Capital, one case in Luang Prabang, and one case in Xayaboury, and one case in Oudomxay.
The country has now recorded 11,313 total cases of Covid-19, with 4435 active cases.
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, 2 September.
Measures to Remain in Place and Extra Measures
Under the extended lockdown measures, authorities will continue the vaccination program, 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.
International and customary land and water borders and checkpoints around the country will remain closed, with entry only for authorized persons and transportation vehicles.
Tourist and visitor visas will not be issued to foreigners, however diplomatic personnel, employees of international organizations, experts, and investors with an urgent requirement to enter the country will granted entry but must comply with all Covid-19 prevention measures issued by the government.
Ambassadors and heads of international organizations are authorized to use their residence for a 14-day quarantine, while employees at all lower levels must quarantine at an authorized quarantine hotel.
Quarantine centers and field hospitals are to be expanded in all localities with large numbers of returning migrant workers.
All quarantine centers must strictly comply with Covid-19 prevention measures and supply facemasks and hand sanitizer to occupants, as well as ensuring social distancing, and adequately facilitate occupants in terms of daily necessities.
Contact tracing and coordination between local authorities and health officials 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.
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. Participants and attendants must have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Should conferences be held in different provinces, relevant provincial authorities must be notified in advance.
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 (except for passengers under 18 years of age) 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 not 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.
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, however, schools must ensure Covid-19 prevention measures are in place, including social distancing.
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.
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.