Lao Govt Launches Online Visa Application Portal As Covid Curbs Eased
Source: Vientiane Times
The government has launched an online visa application portal to ease entry procedures for foreign nationals and Lao nationals living overseas.
The government has authorised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue entry visas for certain groups who have registered through the QR-Code (Vaccine-ID) on the website: ‘laogreenpass.gov.la’ without having to request approval from the Covid-19 taskforce.
The new ruling applies to foreign diplomats, employees of foreign embassies, international oganisations, businesspeople and investors, as well as foreign experts, technicians, workers, traders, students, overseas Lao, and family members of Lao nationals.
Deputy Head of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Mrs Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, announced the new ruling on March 1 when updating Covid-19 measures that come into effect on Wednesday.
Virus control measures are being eased in light of the declining number of community outbreaks across the country, according to Mrs Thipphakone, who is also Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be entrusted to work with the relevant sectors to finalise the details of procedures needed to facilitate the entry and exit application process.
Mrs Thipphakone also said new arrivals will no longer have to wear a wrist tracking device. However, the 48-hour quarantine requirement remains in force while new arrivals await the results of RT-PCR Covid-19 tests.
People whose tests are negative must then spend another seven days in quarantine at home.
However, diplomats, employees of foreign embassies and international oganisations and their family members may quarantine at home for 48 hours while awaiting the test results. Those whose tests are negative may return to work only during the first seven days. This rule also applies to foreign experts, technicians and workers.
Businesspeople and investors may go to work once their tests prove they are not infected. Similarly, foreign tourists entering Laos on package tours arranged through the green (safe) travel programme may begin their travels once they test negative.
The cost of Covid-19 tests and quarantine will be borne by the individuals involved.
The government has also authorised the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to consider granting permission for airplanes to fly in and out of the country without having to seek permission from the Covid-19 taskforce.
Mrs Thipphakone said authorities will continue to keep track of and assess the situation and revise Covid control measures accordingly.