Provinces in Laos Tighten Covid-19 Restrictions Ahead of Lao New Year

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Lao people at a market wearing facemasks.

Some provinces in Laos have tightened restrictions in response to rising Covid-19 infection rates before Lao New Year.

Vientiane Province issued a notice on Monday ordering the temporary closure of pubs, bars, and entertainment venues, while weddings and festivals may only be held with strict authorization from the provincial Covid Taskforce. 

Individuals or businesses that fail to comply face fines of up to LAK 10,000,000. 

Luang Namtha Province has issued strict controls on movement, with those entering the province required to have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. The province has also reinstated a curfew, with road traffic prohibited from 11 pm until 5 am, except for freight transportation vehicles, emergency vehicles, and government officials undertaking their work. 

Lao New Year in Luang Namtha is to be a quiet affair, with the province encouraging small ceremonies at home and banning loud music.

In Savannakhet Province, entertainment venues must remain closed, while authorities have instructed residents to hold only small Lao New Year celebrations at home or with family. 

Roadside “water play,” has also been prohibited in both Savannakhet and Luang Prabang provinces during Lao New Year.

Meanwhile, Houaphan Province has instructed entertainment venues to remain closed.