The government of Laos has begun preparations for reopening the country to vaccinated tourists under its new Lao Travel Green Zone plan.
The new plan for reopening will see Vientiane Capital, Vang Vieng, and Luang Prabang designated as “green zones” to ensure the safety of travelers and service providers, according to Vientiane Times.
Authorities and tourism sector stakeholders discussed the plan at the Public and Private Sector Consultation Meeting on Country Reopening Plan Preparation held on Tuesday, led by the country’s new Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Mrs. Suanesavanh Vingaket.
Under the plan, areas designated as green zones must have a population of 70-80 percent vaccinated, with 90-95 percent of service providers immunized, according to the Lao Travel Green Zone strategy.
Conditions for vaccinated arrivals are to include a valid certificate of entry, a vaccination certificate valid at least two weeks prior to arrival, and a negative PCR test completed 72 hours prior to departing for Laos.
Vientiane Times reports that tourists would be transported to hotels via vehicles approved under the LaoSafe certification program while they await the result of a PCR test which would be available within 24 hours.
A positive test result would result in three days of isolation before another test would be undertaken.
Meanwhile, a new Contact Tracing Application is to be available to tourists called LaoStaySafe, which would provide information updates and for tourists in English while monitoring their movements.
Travel in green zone approved areas would see tourists staying at hotels approved under the LaoSafe program, while tourists traveling outside green zones to other provinces would be required to use transportation and book hotels that have been certified under the LaoSafe program.
The LaoSafe program is a health and hygiene program for the tourism and hospitality sector approved by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism (MICT), and that will be piloted in Vientiane Capital before expanding to other provinces.
It comprises a series of health and hygiene standards for different subsectors of the tourism and hospitality industry, including accommodation providers, food and beverage outlets, airlines, tourist attractions, tour guides, and drivers.