Source: Vientiane News
The government has extended Covid-19 prevention and control measures for another 15 days until September 2 with some measures intensified amid rising imported cases.
Reports showed that a number of Lao migrant workers, who returned from neighbouring Thailand where serious outbreak is taking place, have been infected with Covid-19 resulting in driving daily imported cases.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Vice Chairman of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Mrs Thipphakone Chanthavongsa announced the extension of the measures.
Rising imported cases and ongoing records of locally transmitted cases in Vientiane and some provinces justify the need to intensify some measures, she added.
Authorities will intensify vaccination efforts to immunise more people against the pandemic in accordance to plan.
The government has set a target to inoculate 50 percent of the population by this year. As of August 17, some 1,828,039 people have been vaccinated woth first does, while 1,543,746 people got their second dose.
Authorities will intensify the screening of people entering Laos via various international border checkpoints by ensuring everyone is tested for Covid-19 and have had their temperature checked, Mrs Thipphakone said.
Security forces will be continuously deployed to patrol along the border to ensure no illegal crossing.
Authorities will expand quarantine and treatment facilities to handle the returnees.
Other restrictions extended are as follow:
- Close all types of border checkpoints with countries where community outbreaks are reported for ordinary crossing. Goods transport is allowed,
- Suspend tourist and visitor visa issuance for foreign nationals. Foreign diplomats, staff of international organisations, experts, and investors with an essential mission in Laos may enter the country after being permitted by the taskforce. Ambassadors and heads of international organisations are permitted to undergo quarantine at their residences, but lower-ranked officials are required to quarantine at designated hotels,
- Close entertainment and karaoke venues, cinemas, snooker shops, spas and internet cafes as well as game shops,
- Prohibit sports of players getting to close such as soccer and boxing in provinces experiencing community outbreaks,
- Prohibit travel to and from red-zone villages and communities,
- Prohibit all kinds of gatherings.
Easing measures extended include:
- Open shopping malls, whole- sale and retail shops, super markets, minimarts, fresh markets, and night markets,
- Open barber shops and beauty salon services outside red zones,
- Open restaurants, coffee shops, tourism sites, and food gardens in provinces where there is no community outbreak. But alcoholic drinks are prohibited,
- Meeting is allowed outside red zones,
- Fishing boats on rivers along the border is permitted between 6:00 am to 18:00 pm,
Normalise travel in communities without community outbreak,
- Normalise roads, water-routes and air transport between provinces without community outbreak. Quarantine is not required. Foreigners entering Laos and want to travel to other provinces within the country are required to show their passport, 14-day quarantine certificate and permit document issued by the taskforce. But foreign expatriates living in Laos will enjoy similar treatment as a Lao national,
- Opening schools of all levels in provinces without community outbreak after being granted permission from the provincial taskforces,
- Allow massage service shops opened with the service providers and customers must have been vaccinated with two doses.
Mrs Thipphakone said all businesses and activities are permitted under conditions that the service providers must ensure that Covid-19 prevention and control measures are strictly enforced including social distancing.