Laos Slashes Quarantine Measures for New Arrivals and Returning Residents

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Laos has announced it has cut the required quarantine period for new arrivals from 14 days to just seven days for certain types of visitors.

Government Spokesperson and Vice Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa, made an announcement this evening confirming the new quarantine measures.

She said that in 2022, with vaccination rates much higher in populations around the world, advances in medical technology, and faster testing systems, as well as high-quality medicines for the treatment of Covid-19, the public health system in Laos is no longer being overrun.

“This has meant that the world is now able to better cope with Covid-19, which has transitioned from a pandemic to endemic disease, or a seasonal disease much like flu,” said Madame Thippakone.

Reduced Quarantine Periods for New Arrivals

According to the announcement, government representatives at every level who work or attend seminars abroad, and Lao nationals who return from abroad, must take an RT-PCR Covid-19 test and await the result within 48 hours at an approved quarantine location. Those who receive a negative result may then continue quarantine for seven days at their own residence.

Ambassadors or embassy staff, representatives or employees of international organizations, and their family members that arrive in or return to Laos must take an RT-PCR Covid-19 test and undertake quarantine at their own residence for seven days.

Investors and businesspeople authorized to conduct business in Laos that will arrive in or return to Laos must take an RT-PCR Covid-19 test and await the result within 48 hours at an approved location. Those who receive a negative result may conduct their business but will be required to wear a wrist monitor for seven days.

Foreign nationals who are technical experts, manual laborers, entrepreneurs, students, overseas Lao (of Lao descent), and spouses/dependents of Lao nationals arriving in or returning to Laos from abroad must take an RT-PCR Covid-19 test and await the result within 48 hours at an approved quarantine location. Those who receive a negative result may then continue quarantine for seven days at their own residence and will be required to wear a wrist monitor.

Group tours that arrive as part of the Green Travel Zone reopening scheme will also be required to test for Covid-19 (RT-PCR) and await the result in an approved hotel within 48 hours before commencing tourism activities. Group tourists will be required to wear a wrist monitor and comply with all Covid-19 prevention measures.

Those who test positive upon arrival in Laos may receive treatment at a hospital or treatment center, or take self-treatment at their own residence for ten days in accordance with the severity of their condition.

All foreign nationals that reside in Laos must download and use the Lao KYC mobile phone application (Lao Su Su service) for the purpose of creating a vaccine ID to be used as digital confirmation of vaccine status. The app is to be used to determine one’s health status upon entry into government offices, restaurants, shops, and other public areas.

Madame Thippakone said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now been authorized to issue tourist visas for group tourists traveling to Laos under the Green Travel Zone Scheme, with the condition that all tourists must create vaccine IDs with the Lao KYC app.

She said that Laos is now in talks with neighboring countries regarding the reopening of traditional and customary borders, particularly in regard to the transportation of goods.

The Ministry of Health has been asked to consider permitting the private sector to conduct Covid-19 testing.

All indoor and outdoor sports facilities are now permitted to fully open on the condition that they adhere to Covid-19 guidelines.

Nightclubs and karaoke bars are still not permitted to reopen.