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Continuing Covid outbreak deters foreign tourists

Although Laos officially reopened its doors to foreign tourists on January 1, few visitors have arrived because of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, while some countries have imposed travel restrictions because of the Omicron outbreak.
The Director of Lao Airlines’ Commercial Department, Mr Noudeng Chanthaphasouk, told Vientiane Times on Monday that no foreign nationals had entered Laos on the airline’s flights because some countries, including China, have introduced lockdowns.

Another deterrent to travel by foreign nationals could be the strict measures imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Laos, which mean that visitors must take a Covid test at a border crossing or airport terminal upon entry and quarantine in a designated hotel for 24 hours while awaiting the test results, Mr Noudeng said.
Nationals of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Republic of Korea, Japan, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, USA, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Israel, Austria, New Zealand, Poland, Denmark and Belgium are now allowed to enter Laos for the purposes of tourism.
However, travel will be restricted to designated “green travel zones” in Vientiane, Luang Prabang province, and Vangvieng district, Vientiane province, from January 1 to March 30.
Travel destinations will be limited because of the difficulties involved in opening up the whole of the country while Covid control measures are in place.
Visitors must be part of a package tour arranged by specific travel agents authorised to operate in the selected areas.
People will not be allowed to enter Laos unless they have made a booking with a tour operator and will be denied entry by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.
All arrivals must have had two doses of a Covid vaccine less than 14 days prior to travel and must have purchased life insurance. They must also have had a negative RT-PCR test result less than 72 hours before entering Laos.
Prior to arrival, visitors must download the LaoStaySafe app to register and provide proof of double Covid vaccination and the negative RT-PCR Covid test result.
Visitors must also purchase health insurance that covers them for medical expenses amounting to a minimum of US$50,000, according to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.



By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 5, 2021)


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