Laos Extends Covid-19 Restriction Measures for 11th Time

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Lockdown measures extended in Laos

The Government of Laos has announced an extension of Covid-19 restriction measures for a further two weeks.

Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa made an announcement this evening extending Covid-19 restriction measures at the national level for the 11th time since the nation began experiencing its second wave.

Government Considerations
The Government of Laos has taken its Covid-19 prevention strategy into consideration and is making every effort to ensure the lowest rate of infection and death among Lao citizens and foreign residents in Laos.

The government also hopes to guide the people in transitioning their lives from the old normal to the new normal during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ​transition to the new normal way of life in Laos must be in accordance with the conditions and situation in Laos, with the government taking lessons and advice from friendly nations around the world, and listening to the voice of the Lao population.

“The government accepts that there must be a balance between public health measures and economic measures,” said Madame Thippakone, “and therefore we must ensure our policies are specific to the situation in each locality at any time,”

Restrictions

Vaccinations and testing, and quarantine are to continue, with borders and checkpoints remaining closed.

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 be 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.

Entertainment venues, cinemas, spas, karaoke bars, pubs, internet cafes, snooker halls, and casinos must remain closed across the country.

Massage parlors, beauty salons, night markets, food gardens, and tourist sites across the country in areas that have community spread of Covid-19 must remain closed.

Factories and industrial plants in areas with community spread within the factory or the community except for factories that have been authorized by the Covid Taskforce to continue operations, factories that produce consumer goods, medicines or medical equipment. Factories that remain open must do so in strict compliance with Covid-19 prevention measures. Any factory that does not comply with all regulations and measures will be temporarily closed.

Individuals are prohibited from entering or exiting areas with community spread of Covid-19 except those with prior authorization from the Covid Taskforce or relevant authorities.

Indoor and outdoor fitness centers or stadiums must close, while outdoor exercise in public areas with a community spread of Covid-19 (red zones) is also prohibited.

All parties, gatherings, and social events are prohibited at any location across the country.

Stockpiling, hoarding, or increasing the price of goods is prohibited.

Road traffic across Vientiane Capital and any province with community spread of Covid-19 is prohibited from 22:00 until 5:00, except for freight transportation vehicles, emergency vehicles, and vehicles of the Covid Taskforce or government officials undertaking their work.

Schools and educational institutions at every level across the country are to remain closed.

Meetings and conferences or other gatherings with more than 20 persons are prohibited including religious festivals and activities. Should any individual or organization, including government agencies, wish to hold a conference or gathering, it must request authorization from the Covid Taskforce.

Eased Measures

Shopping malls, retail shops, supermarkets, minimarts, and fresh markets that comply with Covid-19 prevention measures may remain open. Covid-19 prevention measures must be fully implemented including temperature checks, wearing facemasks, and ensuring social distancing of at least one meter. All such retailers and market venues must strictly close by 8pm.

Funerals, wakes, and other religious services must be held in accordance with the instructions provided by the Covid Taskforce.

Barbershops and beauty salons that are not in red zones may resume operations, with Covid-19 prevention measures including social distancing strictly followed at all times. Employees and customers must have received two doses of vaccine before they may receive services, and such businesses must close at 7pm.

Restaurants and cafes in localities without community spread may continue to provide dine-in services, 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. Restaurants in areas with outbreaks of Covid-19 may provide takeaway services only.

Factories and plants in localities without community spread may continue operations but employees must receive two doses of Covid-19 vaccine and must not reside in an area with community spread (red zone). Factories that wish to house employees on site may do so but must first submit a plan to the Covid Taskforce for consideration.

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 6 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.

Travel to or from provinces with outbreaks of Covid-19 will require authorization from the provincial taskforce at the province of origin or the destination 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.

Vocational education, teacher training, and the final year of study for all educational institutions may resume if authorized by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, however Covid-19 prevention measures must be strictly followed.

Indoor and outdoor fitness centers and stadiums in provinces without community spread may continue operations, however, 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 in areas 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.

Other Measures
Individuals, legal entities, or organizations that violate measures for the prevention and control of the spread of Covid-19 determined by the Government, the Taskforce, Ministries, Central Agencies, Vientiane Capital or the provinces, will be prosecuted in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, depending on the case.

Individuals arriving in Laos with authorization from the Covid Taskforce must download and install the Lao KYC application (Lao Sou Sou). At the same time, all retailer shops and other service providers download and install the application and display the require QR Code at their premises so that it may be scanned by all customers and those entering or exiting the premises.

The Covid-19 restriction measures will remain in place until 15 October.