Covid-19 in Laos: Travel Updates & Reopening Status

Covid-19 in Laos, Travel Updates & Reopening Status

17/5/2022

Along with Vietnam, after more than two years of applying strict measures to prevent COVID-19, Laos finally reopened to welcome Lao citizens, foreign residents, tourists, and other types of visitors from May 9.

Fully vaccinated tourists entering Laos do not need any testing requirements and are less restrictive. Travelers with valid proof of full vaccinations do not need to be tested for COVID-19 before traveling to Laos by air, land, or sea. They will be required to present their vaccine certificate for entry. Visitors to Laos if infected with Covid-19 must pay their own medical and isolation costs.

Non-vaccinated citizens of Laos, foreign citizens, or residents aged 12 years and over must take a Rapid Antigen Test (ATK) not more than 48 hours before departure and present the results upon arrival.

Visitors from countries that do not have a visa exemption agreement with Laos must apply for an entry visa. Visitors from Australia, Canada, and the United States, among other countries, can apply for a Laos visa online.

Private vehicles may now enter and exit the territory of Laos via checkpoints as before the pandemic. Entertainment venues and karaoke bars could be reopened and must fully comply with Covid-19 prevention measures.

17/03/2022

After reopening their borders to welcome international visitors to Laos since January 2022, here are the latest entry requirements for tourists entering Laos at the moment:

  1. Must book a tour via a local travel agency
  2. Fully vaccinated with the last dose no less than 14 days and no more than 1 year before arriving at the airport in Laos.
  3. Health/ Travel insurance with the coverage of at least $50.000 and must cover the treatment cost in the case of being infected by Covid in Laos.
  4. NEGATIVE Covid test by RT-PCR no more than 72 hours before arriving in Laos
  5. NEGATIVE Covid test by RT-PCR upon arrival at the airport 48 hours quarantine at a LaoSafe certified hotel to wait for the result of RT-PCR test.
  6. Once you have the NEGATIVE result, you are free to travel inside Lao Green Zone and Lao Green Trail

04/03/2022

LaoSafe Certification is granted to the first tour guides and drivers.

During a ceremony conducted yesterday in Vientiane Capital, the LaoSafe program certified 45 tour guides and 30 drivers.

The LaoSafe program’s purpose is to increase the quality of health and hygiene standards while increasing trust in Laos as a safe tourism destination.

Mme Darany Phommavongsa, Director General of the Tourism Management Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism (MICT), addressed the attending tour guides and drivers on February 28th, after previously handing over LaoSafe certificates to more than 40 professionals and businesses. She congratulated them on passing the assessment and their commitment to providing a safe environment for both domestic and international tourists.

According to the current COVID laws governing foreign tourism to Laos, tour guides and drivers are one of the primary points of interaction for travelers.

Because international tourists may only enter the country through planned tours at this time, Mme Darany Phommavongsa said, “it is all the more crucial for the country and its incoming tourists to rely on specialists such as yourselves who are concerned about keeping outstanding hygiene standards at all times.”

“We all had a basic awareness of pertinent hygiene procedures and regulations, but the training made us aware of circumstances and practices that most of us hadn’t considered before,” noted Mr. Kethavy Sisavath, one of the certified LaoSafe tour guides.

Mr. Syamphone Khamphavongsa, who received his LaoSafe Driver certificate, shared this sentiment: “The training was highly practical, consisting of scenarios such as responding to the news of having had contact with a COVID positive passenger and implementing the right procedures.”

“There is a rising demand from the private sector to become LaoSafe certified,” said Mme Darany Phommavongsa, who gave out the LaoSafe certificates to the attending tour guides and drivers. We are currently concentrating on maintaining momentum, responding to an increasing number of inquiries, and extending training for tour guides and drivers in other major provinces such as Luang Prabang and Vientiane. “

With 22 enterprises, 45 tour guides, and 30 drivers now trained, the program is also training new trainers and assessors for the lodging subsector, with hotels around the nation eager to become LaoSafe certified.

More tour guides, drivers, and companies will be recognized in the next weeks and months, with more awards ceremonies scheduled in Vientiane Capital and Luang Prabang.

LaoSafe is a health and hygiene program that has been approved by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the MICT. It consists of a set of health and hygiene standards for various subsectors of the tourism and hospitality industry, such as accommodation providers, food and beverage (F & B) outlets, airlines, tour guides, and drivers.

The program is funded by the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029), which is co-financed by the governments of the Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Switzerland and is conducted by the Lao PDR Ministry of Education and Sports and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.


13/02/2022

Vientiane Capital Receives 84 International Tourists After Reopening

Since the Travel Green Zone plan took place on January 1, 2022, Laos has welcomed 84 visitors mostly from South Korea to Vientiane Capital.

Even though this number has decreased from the actual number of people who have booked tours to Laos due to the changes in the Covid-19 restriction of South Korea which subject people returning home to undergo a 10-day quarantine. Laos authorities consider this number of visitors on the first month of reopening its border as a positive sign for the country’s tourism industry this year. According to the plan, the Director of the Vientiane Capital Department of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Ms. Vilayvone Chanthalaty hopes to welcome around 300,000 foreign visitors if there’s no more significant Covid-19 outbreak.


08/02/2022

Covid curbs eased, businesspeople visiting Laos no longer need to quarantine

Laos government has made some changes in Covid-19 restrictions. Particularly, they have lifted the quarantine requirement for business people visiting the country as long as they have a negative test result with Covid-19.

Businesspeople entering Laos will have to take RT-PCR Covid-19 test with the result returned within 48 hours.

During that 48 hours, visitors still have to remain in quarantine. If a negative test result is returned they will be allowed to move freely while having a health monitoring device.

Foreign tourists entering Laos are applying the same rule according to a notice issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on 3rd February.

Lao delegations and citizens returning back to Laos from a foreign country are also forced to take a Covid-19 test. But they will be applied a different rule which is if they received a negative test result, they have to self-isolate in their place of residence for seven days.

Foreign experts, technical staff, workers, students, foreign nationals who are of Lao origin, and family members of Lao citizens are subject to the same procedure and must wear a health monitoring device.


21/01/2022

On 20/01/2022, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a notice that asks other authorities to ease the regulations on entry to the country for certain visitors including businesspeople, employees, entrepreneurs, and others, in order to better encourage business and investment, as well as allow to reopen some kinds of business to help the local economy recover.

At the moment, this notice is still under consideration.


10/01/2022

On Monday, January 10, 2022, Lao welcomed the group of 17 students and six teachers from Korea at Wattay International Airport. This is the first batch of visitors that arrived in Laos since the Travel Green Zone Plan took place on January 1, 2022.


31/12/2021

Laos has announced a list of additional 14 countries that travelers coming from there can be permitted to enter the country under the Travel Green Zone Plan. It brings a total of 31 countries in the plan, including Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Israel, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, New Zealand, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, France, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, United States, Canada, and Australia.

Starting from 1/1/2022, visitors may visit Vientiane Capital, Luang Prabang Province, and Vang Vieng District in Vientiane Province.


21/12/2021

The government of the Lao PDR has suspended the visa on arrival service at all international entry points. No visas are being issued to people traveling from a country with cases of COVID-19, including the UK. However, the Lao authorities may consider granting special entry permission for foreigners (e.g. experts, technicians, and foreign nationals that are needed for essential projects) who wish to come to Laos.

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