Schools Reopen Under New Covid Restrictions in Laos

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Laos Patuxay Vientiane
Patuxay at sunset (Photo: Teng)

 

The Government of Laos has extended Covid-19 restriction measures indefinitely but has eased several measures, including allowing in-person classes at schools.

The notice states that community spread continues across every province, with the number of new infections increasing.  Most cases have been recorded in densely populated areas, with spread occurring at social events, in offices, organizations, and within families.

Because of this, the Prime Minister’s Office has issued a notice ordering Covid-19 restriction measures to continue across the country from 15 November onward.

General Restrictions

Borders and checkpoints will remain closed, except those authorized by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control. 

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.

Embassy employees, diplomatic staff, and employees of international organizations may quarantine at their own residences, while all others must quarantine at hotels authorized by the Taskforce.

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

Meetings and conferences or other gatherings with more than 50 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.

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

Restrictions in Areas with Community Spread of Covid-19

Massage parlors, spas, beauty salons, barbershops, movie theaters, food gardens, and tourist attractions must remain closed.

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

Road traffic across Vientiane Capital and any province with community spread of Covid-19 is prohibited from 23:30 until 5:00, except for freight transportation vehicles, emergency vehicles, and vehicles of the Covid Taskforce or government officials undertaking their work.

Ministries, equivalent organizations, and businesses in Vientiane Capital and other provinces should ensure employees rotate personnel or work from home using electronic means. Those in at-risk groups including unvaccinated persons and pregnant women should work from home.

Eased Measures

Businesses that are not affected by general restrictions or specific restrictions in areas of community spread may open and operate, so long as the business owner, service providers, and clients or customers are fully vaccinated.

The transportation of goods within the country and internationally is authorized, wherein drivers and assistants, domestic truck drivers, and foreign truck drivers entering Laos must be fully vaccinated.

Travel by land, water, and air may resume between provinces and throughout the country without the requirement of authorization from the origin or destination provincial authorities. Quarantine will not be required when traveling between provinces, however, transport providers and passengers must have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and must strictly comply with Covid prevention measures.

Any business that incurs an outbreak of Covid-19 must temporarily close operations, clean and disinfect the area of operations, and separate at-risk groups. Businesses may reopen after these measures have been taken, however, any business that fails to properly implement Covid-19 prevention measures as ordered by the Taskforce may be punished in accordance with the law.

Face-to-face (in-person) classes may resume at schools in Vientiane Capital and every province across the country. The Ministry of Education and Sports is urgently assigned the task of coordinating with the Ministry of Health and other relevant parties to determine the conditions and measures for Covid-19 prevention and control at educational institutions and to coordinate with local authorities, taskforces, and education departments to authorize reopening in each locality.


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