Laos reopening to tourism

Laos Reopened Some Borders but NOT for Tourism YET!

The Lao government has decided to temporarily reopen some local and customary border crossings in an attempt to boost the economy and mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic.

Unfortunately, the country’s borders Remain Closed to Foreigners. Given that we live in an ever-changing situation these restrictions may change without prior notice. Keep in touch with us to know about the latest updates.

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Laos Reopening – Latest Update

October 1 the Laos government hasn’t released any updated or plans for reopening the country.

September 13 – there haven’t been new cases of Coronavirus in Laos but despite that border remains closed for tourism!

With 0 COVID-19-related deaths, Lao PDR is one of the safest countries to travel in 2021 

Source

Having 0 deaths in the middle of the most severe health crisis the world has experienced in the last century is rather remarkable. These figures, or the lack of them, may be the result of the coordinated strategy the country developed since day 1. 

National EOC meets on a daily basis with the Co-Chaired Health Minister and Vice Minister to ensure strong coordination between health and other sectors to develop and maintain a 2-year long plan to guarantee COVID-19 response is effectively supported within the system as a whole.

Almost 25% of the Lao PDR citizens live in poverty and according to the United Nations, an estimate of 80% of the Lao PDR population lives on less than $2.50 per day and 87% of children experience some sort of deprivation on a daily basis. The country does not have in place any social security or protection system, which in theory would make them particularly vulnerable to the pandemic multi-sector negative effects. These less-than-ideal conditions to face a pandemic may explain why the country is implementing the strict entry and exit requirements currently in place. 

Who is allowed entry in Laos? Under what conditions?

laos reopening borders - airport

The outlook for international travellers waiting to live their Lao PDR adventure is not so good at the moment since the country is prioritizing safety within its borders.

In order to protect their population from the threat of infection, the government of Lao PDR has designed one of the toughest protocols in the region.

It contains several tiresome steps, and for now, only international and national travelers with truly compelling reasons to enter the country will be considered. We have prepared a list of most of the documents you will need to submit to help you out with your entry process. 

Step 1

Even if you consider you have a valid reason to travel you must first receive authorization to do so. You would need a sponsor (a company, business, or organization) to fill out an official request of entry to the Task Force Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lao PDR. 

This would require you and your sponsor to provide an extensive list of documents such as company registration, taxes report, licenses, permission to employ foreign workers, as well as a letter providing your personal details plus approximate arrival date, point of entry, means of transportation, self-quarantine location, reasons for an urgent need to enter Lao PDR, and booking confirmation at a government-approved location to spend quarantine. Find detailed information here

Step 2

If you do not hold a visa or permit to enter, you will still need to go through the regular process to acquire one. A permit granted by the Task Force Committee does not replace an official visa.

Step 3

Once you have reached this level, you are ready to travel but before you take off, make sure to read the requirements and protocols to be allowed to go through airport checks and finally step foot in Lao PDR:

  • You must bring with you a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Once you land you will be asked to take another COVID-19 test which you will be paying for.
  • You will follow your arrival by a 14-day self-quarantine, again, at your own expense.

Is there any kind of plan for reactivating international tourism?

Laos reopening to tourism

Not so much, at least not according to official announcements by the government. The country is slowly reopening for business trips and other essential travelling but only with a few countries and following the strict plan described above.

Only in August, did the country negotiate with Japan delegates to allow nationals of both countries to travel again and to allow Lao PDR international students re-entry to Japan to resume their studies.