Deputy Mayor Confirms New Lockdown Measures for Vientiane Capital

Deputy Mayor Announces Lockdown in Vientiane Capital
Vientiane Capital

Deputy Mayor of Vientiane Captial, Phouvong Vongkhamsao, spoke during today’s announcement by the National Taskforce regarding the reinstatement of lockdown measures in the nation’s capital.

He said that the number of cases of Covid-19 in Vientiane Capital has spread rapidly, caused by infections among garment factory workers. He said there is a high chance that a new widespread outbreak could occur in Vientiane Capital which will be more difficult to control than before.

With the authorization of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, and the Prime Minster’s Office, the Mayor of Vientiane Capital has ordered new lockdown measures to commence from 12pm today.

Measures are as follows:

Government agencies and departments, as well as district and village authorities, have been instructed to provide information regarding Covid-19 and educate residents of Vientiane Capital regarding the dangers and risks posed by Covid-19, as well as how to properly prevent infection.

Employees of government ministries and departments, businesses, and international organizations must cease work at offices and office buildings from 20 to 30 September, except for police, emergency services personnel, medical workers, and other essential workers.

All government departments, district and village offices must inform employees under their responsibility to undertake official work at their homes via electronic communications and internet, such as telephone, email, social media and remote conferencing software.

Residents of Vientiane Capital are prohibited from leaving their homes or traveling within the city except for essential tasks, such as shopping for food, purchasing medicine, or visiting hospitals. Those who must undertake agricultural work for their livelihoods are allowed to do so but must first seek advice and authorization from their village office.

Police forces must coordinate with district and village authorities to set up checkpoints along major roads and prevent unauthorized travel in seven districts, namely: Chanthabouly, Sikhottabong, Saysettha, Sisattanak, Xaythany, Hatsayfong, and Naxaythong.

Individual and passenger vehicles in Vientiane Capital are prohibited from traveling to other provinces or to areas of risk, or to areas where cases have been confirmed, except where authorized by the Central or Vientiane Capital Taskforce for essential work, such as cargo transportation or priority government work.

Individuals in provinces with community spread of Covid-19 may not travel to Vientiane Capital. Those who must enter the city from provinces with community spread must quarantine for 14 days at a quarantine center or quarantine hotel authorized by the Taskforce, and will be responsible for all related cost. Those who refuse to quarantine will be refused entry to Vientiane Capital.

Residents of Vientiane Capital who are returning home from other provinces may do so, however, those returning from provinces with community spread of Covid-19 must quarantine for 14 days at a quarantine center or quarantine hotel authorized by the Taskforce, and will be responsible for all related costs.

Police and military officers will establish checkpoints at the border areas of Vientiane Capital and inspect all documentation of those entering the city.

Infected persons or those who have had close contact with infected persons are prohibited from withholding information or falsifying information regarding their recent travel history to avoid being placed in hospital or a quarantine center. Those found to have falsified information or left a hospital without authorization will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and will be made to pay for any and all damages caused.

Conferences, gatherings, and other activities such as religious festivals and weddings are prohibited. Parties and gatherings at all locations are prohibited. Funerals must be held in accordance with Covid-19 prevention guidelines as previously announced by the Covid Taskforce.

Local and customary borders and checkpoints will be closed, while the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge will not allow entry except for those authorized by the Covid Taskforce.

Karaoke bars, entertainment venues, internet cafes, casinos, cinemas, snooker halls, massage parlors, spas, hairdressers and barbershops, beauty parlors, shopping malls and department stores, night markets, food gardens, tourist sites, resorts, guesthouses, pubs and grill restaurants must close, while service of alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Street vendors selling lottery, religious items, or food must also close.

Exercise in public areas such as That Luang, That Luang Marsh, Chao Anouvong Park is prohibited, while gyms and fitness centers, sports stadiums, swimming pools, and other sports centers must close.

Garment factories and other types of factories must close, however, if it can be guaranteed that there is no risk of Covid-19, consideration for continuing operations will be made. Factories that have closed must manage and assist their employees during the lockdown period.

Merchants and shopkeepers are prohibited from stockpiling goods or price gouging, particularly in regard to the sale of face masks, hand gel, petrol, drinking water, and foods.

It is forbidden to spread fake news or information that is untrue or inaccurate, causing panic among residents of Vientiane Capital.

Retailers and food vendors may open for the sale and delivery of food and daily necessities provided they abide by Covid-19 prevention measures. Banks and financial institutions, hospitals and medical clinics, pharmacies, postal services, telecommunications services, electricity and water suppliers, petrol stations, and garbage collection services may continue operations.

Individuals who violate lockdown regulations in Vientiane Capital will face fines of LAK 3,000,000 per offense, while legal entities or organizations who violate lockdown measures will face fines of LAK 10,000,000 per offense.

The lockdown measures will remain in place until midnight, 30 September.