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Land, Air Travel Suspended To Comply With Covid Restrictions

Source: Vientiane Times

Passengers on public transport, whether wanting to travel by road or air from or to Vientiane, will have to wait another 11 days after city authorities announced a lockdown on Sunday.

The lockdown came after an outbreak of Covid at a garment factory, with several hundred workers testing positive for the virus within a couple of days.

The lockdown will remain in effect until the end of this month, with some factories being temporarily closed to prevent the virus from spreading.Travel restrictions have dimmed the hopes of people living in Vientiane who were planning to travel by public transport to visit their families in the provinces.

Lao Airlines, the national flag carrier, has grounded several aircraft on routes to and from Pakxe, Savannakhet and Vientiane, where most cases of Covid have been reported.

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In compliance with a notice issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on September 18 to curb the spread of the virus, the airline’s Facebook page states that all domestic flights will be cancelled as of September 20 until a further announcement is made.

Charter flights to foreign destinations, mainly to Kunming in China, will continue, the statement said.

Some passengers expressed regret at having their travel plans cancelled after booking flights, while others said they supported the suspension of domestic flights as part of efforts to control the virus outbreak.

At the same time, Vientiane’s Northern Bus Station and Southern Bus Terminal have announced the suspension of services, saying that normal operations will resume after September 30 if the virus situation does not worsen.

Air and land transport services have been suspended several times since the start of the Covid outbreak in April this year, which has caused huge disruption and losses to numerous businesses involved in the provision of transport services.