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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.