Can Restaurants Serve Alcohol Under New Covid-19 Restrictions in Laos?

Service of alcohol

The service of alcohol in restaurants has long been a feature of Covid-19 restrictions in Laos since the pandemic began, however, the latest restrictions have left restaurateurs uncertain.

While Laos has seen the provinces and the nation’s capital enter and exit lockdown intermittently, restrictions on the service of alcohol at restaurants have remained a prominent fixture of the country’s Covid-19 measures at the national level.

But the latest Covid-19 restriction measures announced by the Prime Minister’s Office, effective from 15 November onward, make no mention of any restrictions on the service of alcohol by restaurants.

In fact, restaurants were not mentioned at all, with the reopening of schools and the return of domestic travel dominating the announcement.

The Lao Hotel & Restaurant Association told the Laotian Times that while the new restrictions do not explicitly state service of alcohol is prohibited, it’s best for restaurants to refrain from serving alcoholic beverages until officially given permission.

To be doubly certain, Laotian Times contacted the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control via its 166 hotline to try to get a definitive answer to this question.

The respondent stated that the service of alcohol in restaurants remains prohibited and that residents should look to the Covid-19 restrictions issued on 30 October, which cover the issue in greater detail, despite being superseded by the November restrictions.

“Drink at home,” was the final suggestion given by the Taskforce respondent.