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More Than 2,000 People Enter Laos After Country Reopens

Source: Vientiane Times

Over 2,000 people, both Lao and foreign nationals, have entered Laos at land borders and the airport in Vientiane since the government reopened the country last week.

The figure was reported when the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Prof. Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, visited the First Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and Wattay International Airport in Vientiane on May 13.

The bridge opened on May 9 following a notice issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on May 7 stating that all borders could now reopen, with travel restrictions lifted and foreign nationals and stateless people allowed to enter and exit Laos freely.

Wattay International Airport also opened to allow entry by foreign nationals.

Head of the First Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge International Checkpoint, Dr Khamphone Thepphavong, said that since Laos reopened more than 1,600 people had entered the country and more than 2,100 people crossed the bridge into Thailand.

It is expected that many more people will enter and depart Laos across the bridge, where services will be improved to enable traffic to flow more quickly and people to pass through immigration more efficiently, he added.

Meanwhile, more than 690 people have entered Laos through the airport in Vientiane since May 9 and more than 860 people have left Laos, a manager at Wattay International Airport said.
There are currently six foreign airlines operating out of Laos, from the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, China and Malaysia.

Prof. Dr Kikeo said facilities at the bridge and airport should be made more efficient to ensure that transit is convenient and fast.

He also stressed the need for people to continue to comply with measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in keeping with guidance issued by the Covid taskforce.

The government has called on all state departments, business operators and all sectors of society to be ready to welcome and offer warm hospitality to tourists.

With the full reopening of Laos, citizens of countries that have signed a bilateral or unilateral visa waiver agreement with Laos can enter without applying for a visa.

Citizens of countries that have not signed visa waiver agreements with Laos can apply for a visa at a Lao embassy or consulate in a foreign country. Visitors can also apply for a visa online or on arrival at border crossings where such service is available.

Lao and foreign nationals and stateless people aged 12 and older who have not been fully vaccinated are required to take a Covid-19 ATK test within 48 hours of their departure for Laos. However, they are no longer required to have a Covid test upon arrival.

People who have a certificate indicating full Covid vaccination can enter Laos without needing to have a Covid test in either their departing country or upon arrival in Laos.

Visitors who contract Covid during their stay in Laos are responsible for all expenses involved if treatment is needed. Treatment can be obtained at state and private hospitals, while self-isolation and self-care is another option.