Laos Relaxed Further Lockdown Rules

Lao PDR, domestic travel, news, air transport

After lifting 10 days ago most of the restrictions for businesses as well as indoor and outdoor activities, domestic tourism is again allowed in Laos but international tourism movements continue to be strictly monitored.

The lockdown of the population in Laos is being relaxed step by step since the beginning of May. Ten days ago, ministers were told by the Prime Minister to reopen final-year classes at primary, lower and upper secondary schools on May 18. Other classes at all educational institutions should reopen on June 2.

All indoor and outdoor sporting activities have been permitted since May. Trading and service businesses have also been allowed to resume operations since May 18. These include restaurants, shops selling cooked food, retail and wholesale outlets, barber shops, beauty salons, fresh markets, supermarkets, massage and spa service providers, and car washing services.

Domestic travel is now permitted in Laos for all people throughout the country, but prevention measures and guidelines must be strictly followed, Director General of Department of Transport under Laos Ministry of Public Works and Transport Bounta Onnavong told a press conference at the end of last week. The measures include arranging suitable seating for passengers with social distancing of at least one meter and everyone must have their body temperature checked. Domestic flights are allowed to resume. From June 1st, the airline will offer two flights a week (Monday and Wednesday) between Vientiane and Luang Prabang as well as each Monday and Wednesday between Vientiane and Savannakhet/Pakse with an ATR72.

Laos reported no new case of Covid-19 for 39 consecutive days, with the total number of confirmed cases remaining at 19, according to the report.

Meanwhile while domestic travel is now possible, no information has been given regarding the easing of international travel restrictions. A ban on all international flights has been extended on May 8 by the government with no date provided for a possible lifting of that measure.

For now, only foreign expatriates working or studying in Laos are permitted to return home if they wish. Laos students and workers wanting to return to foreign countries for study or work can also do so in accordance with the regulations imposed by their country of destination. The impending closure of borders is takeing its toll on the lanour market with unemployment growing rapidly. Many workers also used to work in Thailand.

(Partial source: Vientiane Times/Asian News Network)