Laos has missed out on competing in the Mister Model International 2021 Pageant this year due to visa and travel restrictions leaving the team stranded in South Korea.
According to an announcement issued by his public relations team, Mister Model International Laos contestant, Mr. Viengkham Chanthavongsa, was unable to make his way to the Dominican Republic due to problems encountered while transiting in South Korea.
Mr. Viengkham Chanthavongsa was crowned Mister Model Laos 2021 and was to represent his country at the Mister Model International 2021 pageant, which will take place from 3 to 9 October in Punta Cana.
However, according to the announcement, after arrival at Incheon International Airport in South Korea, Qatar Airways informed the team that a visa would be required before traveling onward to the Dominican Republic due to travel restrictions during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Meanwhile, a representative from the Mister Model International organization had informed the Laos pageant team that citizens of all nations could freely enter the Dominican Republic with a visa on arrival.
“While we had prepared a Covid-19 test already, our team did not have the visas that the airlines required, so we had to request them and wait until 4 October to obtain them. By this time, our Covid test results expired as these are valid only 72 hours,” the Mister Model Laos team said in a release.
To be able to travel onward, each member of the team would be required to take a new Covid-19 test in South Korea, however, these are only available at hospitals outside the airport, with a 14-day quarantine requirement in place for anyone leaving the airport.
Due to these complications, the team is now stranded at Incheon International Airport, and will return to Laos on 9 October.
Meanwhile, according to the release, the president of the Mister Model International Pageant has said that due to the misfortune encountered by the Lao team, they may allow Laos to host the Mister Model International pageant next year.