Laos Considers Easing Restrictions on Entrance Visas

Wattay Airport Laos Immigration

A new notice issued by the Prime Minister’s Office has instructed authorities to consider easing certain Covid measures, including restrictions on entry to the country.

The notice, issued yesterday by the Prime Minister’s Office and signed off by Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Khamchen Vongphosy, asks authorities to consider easing restrictions on entry to the country for certain visitors, as well as opening up more businesses to help the local economy recover.

According to the notice, the Prime Minister’s Office has authorized the Green Travel Zone reopening plan to continue, while instructing the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control to study the Omicron and Delta variants and ensure that the country’s health system will be able to cope in case of an influx of cases.

The notice proposes authorities consider relaxing measures for entry to Laos by certain groups, including businesspeople, employees, entrepreneurs, and others, in order to better encourage business and investment.

According to the notice, authorities have also been asked to look into easing measures for certain business activities to help the economy recover.

The notice states, however, that such eased measures must absolutely not include entertainment venues, pubs, bars, or nightclubs, which it says are known to facilitate the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the community.

The notice comes after a proposal by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week urging the National Taskforce to consider easing certain restrictions on entrance visas to Laos.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) told the National Taskforce it had received an overwhelming number of requests from embassies and consulates requesting that their country be added to the list of 31 countries permitted to enter Laos under the reopening plan.

At the same time, MOFA suggested that in order to better facilitate entry for visitors, certain Covid-19 prevention measures and other regulations regarding the issuance of visas should be abolished.

The proposal also proposed reopening Wattay International Airport and the Friendship Bridge to Nong Khai, paving the way for future free and independent travel.