Vientiane Authorities Reverse Decision on Supermarket Closures

Supermarkets reopen in Vientiane Capital
A supermarket in Vientiane Capital (Photo: D-mart)

The Vientiane Capital Department of Industry and Commerce has reversed its controversial decision to close supermarkets and other retailers.

According to a notice issued today, various retail businesses including supermarkets will be able to open at certain times and in accordance with certain conditions.

The notice reads, “From 21 to 30 September, import-export businesses, department stores, supermarkets and minimarts, fresh markets, small retailers, and petrol stations in Vientiane Capital may operate as normal in providing goods and services to consumers.

Such businesses may operate as normal but must implement strict Covid-19 prevention measures such as ensuring customers receive temperature checks, are provided with hand gel, and wear facemasks at all times.

Limited numbers of shoppers may enter at any one time, and stores must ensure shoppers maintain social distance of at least one meter. Shelving or tables of stock must be one meter apart, while stores must be kept clean at all times.

Hours of Operation
-Fresh markets may open from 6am to 7pm.
-Department Stores may open from 9am to 8pm.
-Supermarkets may open from 9am to 8pm.
-Minimarts may open from 9am to 8pm.
-Small retailers may open from 9am to 8pm.
-Wholesalers may open from 9am to 8pm.

At fresh markets, only market stalls selling agricultural goods, household goods, and takeaway meals may open, while all other types of stalls must remain closed.

Petrol stations may operate as normal but must ensure Covid-19 prevention measures and social distancing.

Meanwhile, night markets, clothing stores, electrical appliance stores, or other shops that do not sell essential items are to remain closed.