China Announces Closure of Borders with Luang Namtha

Laos Suspends Visas at Checkpoints Bordering China

China has announced the closure of international border crossings connecting it to Luang Namtha Province in Laos due to local outbreaks of Covid-19.

According to a notice issued yesterday by the head of the Foreign Affairs Department of Luang Namtha, Mr. Siphon Kongchampa, border checkpoints between Luang Namtha, Laos, and La District, Yunnan Province, China, have been closed.

The notice states that the Yunnan Provincial Covid Taskforce has temporarily shuttered border checkpoints and halted cross-border transport from 21 January 2022 to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Chinese authorities ordered the closure of two checkpoints, namely the Panghai – Chahe checkpoint and the Boten – Bohan checkpoint.

Authorities have not said when the checkpoints will be reopened.

Freight trucks stuck in Luang Namtha cannot enter China.
Freight trucks stuck in Luang Namtha cannot enter China.

The news comes after hundreds of freight trucks already remain stranded in Luang Namtha Province after China placed strict controls over the entry of foreign vehicles.

Luang Namtha Province temporarily banned freight trucks from entering the province last month due to a massive backlog of trucks waiting to cross into China.

China is concerned about the high number of Covid-19 cases reported in Laos, reacting by implementing tighter entry restrictions.