Laos Tightens Measures As Covid-19 Cases In Neighbouring Countries Rise
The government has issued a notice stating more stringent measures against Covid-19 have been put in place for Feb 1- Mar 31, 2021.
“To prevent the second wave of Covid-19 outbreak in the Lao PDR, the government, in particular the National Taskforce Committee has agreed to continue to suspend the authorisation of charter flights from countries/regions with local transmission of Covid-19, except humanitarian flights, flights with patients onboard and necessary outbound flights,” Minister of Health Bounkong Sihavong said on Feb 2.
Charter flights from countries without local Covid-19 transmission must be inspected and no passengers from countries with local transmission is allowed to board the flights.
No visa will be granted to foreigners visiting the Lao PDR for business or leisure purposes. Diplomatic officials, officials of international organizations, experts, investors with necessary and urgent reasons can enter Laos only if they are permitted by the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and strictly comply with anti-Covid-19 measures including holding Covid-19 PCR certificates from the country of origin and having PCR test after arriving in Laos and quarantined for 14 days at quarantine centres or hotels.
Traditional and local border checkpoints must be closed to travels of general purposes and goods transport, except those border checkpoints given permissions from the government and conducting disinfectant spraying.
International border crossings continue to be closed to the travel of ordinary people, except of those with urgent reasons and permitted by the national taskforce committee.
Concerts, night parties and extravagant celebrations are banned. Wedding parties and traditional celebrations must have small number of participants and be thrifty according to the fine traditions of the country and comply with Covid-19 measures imposed by the national taskforce committee
The Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security have been urged to work with provincial authorities especially those of border provinces to attach greater attention to the monitoring of migration at border checkpoints and patrolling borderlines to prevent illegal migration and imported cases of covid-19.
The notice also urges the Ministry of Health to work with relevant authorities to issue instructions on the use of medical monitoring equipment and Covid-19 insurance for foreigners entering the Lao PDR and renovate central and provincial quarantine centres, and build more Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centres.
It also asks the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control to work with relevant authorities and neighbouring countries to come up with prevention measures with respect to the import of seafood and frozen food.
It asks the taskforce committee to work with friendly countries and international organsiations to procure Covid-19 vaccines for use in the Lao PDR.