Three Provinces Ease Lockdown Restrictions
Source: Vientiane Times
Some provinces where only a few cases of Covid-19 have been recorded remain under lockdown but are easing restrictions to enable people to engage in business and earn a living.
In Xayaboury province, authorities will allow travel between districts and are removing checkpoints on roads.
Starting on May 17, government officials are allowed to return to their offices and to hold meetings but participants must observe social distancing and be limited in number, according to the Lao Phatthana newspaper.
Restaurants can open for the sale of food but not alcohol, and sports activities can resume so long as there are few spectators.
Meanwhile, roads leading to other provinces will remain closed, as well as border crossings. Schools and colleges will also remain closed and gatherings of more than 20 people, including for festivals, are banned.
Khammuan province has also eased restrictions and is allowing the residents of each village to travel to other villages for the purposes of work or business.
Otherwise, the lockdown measures remain in place. Roads leading in and out of the province will stay closed, as will schools and colleges. Public gatherings are forbidden except for essential reasons such as funerals. However, all those attending a funeral must have their temperature checked, clean their hands with sanitiser, maintain a safe distance from others, and wear a face mask.
In Borikhamxay, travel between the province and other provinces is allowed until May 20.
Anyone wishing to travel to another province, including government officials, must submit a request signed by their office, while company employees must submit a request signed by the company management.
People from other areas who are still living in Borikhamxay and wish to return to their home province must present an ID card and address certificate from their village office or district Covid-19 taskforce.
Those who wish to bring family members from another province to Borikhamxay must submit a document form the district taskforce.
Elsewhere, authorities in Bokeo province have asked the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control to suspend the movement of foreigners and not to issue immigration permits for foreign nationals.
The province contains a special economic zone where foreign businesses employ a large number of foreign workers.
Bokeo has recorded many new cases of Covid-19 in recent days, making it the area second hardest hit by the pandemic after Vientiane.
On Tuesday, Bokeo recorded 26 new cases, the highest number out of all the provinces and Vientiane on that day, bringing the total number of cases in Bokeo to 454.
Provincial authorities are patrolling the borders with Thailand and Myanmar, but some people are smuggling goods along banned routes, while others are bringing foreign nationals into the province illegally.