Sun, October 17, 2021

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Vientiane authorities impose travel restrictions as lockdown tightens


Police and security authorities are placing strict controls on travel and many roads in the capital are now blocked off following new restrictions imposed as a result of the latest lockdown.

Vientiane authorities ordered a full lockdown of the capital on Sunday following new clusters of locally-transmitted Covid cases at several factories.

Police and security officials are now stationed on city streets to check people’s movements, especially in the four central districts of Sikhottabong, Sisattanak, Chanthabouly and Xaysettha, and some areas of Xaythany, Hadxaithong and Naxaithong.

There are now 14 checkpoints across the capital, including at Thongkhankham, the Comcenter roundabout, Nongbone, Donekoy, 23 Singha Park, Chao Fa Ngum Park, Dongdok, Km3, Nonvai, Nongnieng, Dondaeng-Huayhong, Km7, Lao-ITECC, and Km15 in Dongsang-hin village.

Travel is banned on roads in the capital from 10pm to 5am. Exceptions will be made for essential trips such as the transport of goods, food and medical equipment, ambulances, fire-fighting trucks, and emergency rescue vehicles.

Authorities are calling on people to stay at home while the lockdown is in place, to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This means everyone should stay at home except to buy essential goods such as medicine and to carry out duties authorised by the government.

The lockdown follows new clusters of cases at several factories, with over 430 cases being reported at a garment factory over the weekend. Most of the cases were identified as the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Violators of the rules will be subject to fines, with an individual to be fined 3 million kip per offence and an entity such as a business fined 10 million kip for each offence.

The owners of restaurants that stay open in breach of the rules will be fined 3 million kip and service users will be fined 4 million kip or more.

While carrying out checks, police found the Homyen restaurant in Dongdok village, Xaythany district, was open and selling alcoholic beverages, while 17 people were drinking beer inside the restaurant.

Police fined the restaurant owner 3 million kip and fines amounting to 4,150,000 kip were issued to customers.

Gatherings of all kinds, parties and all other activities including cultural events, weddings and religious gatherings are forbidden as part of lockdown restrictions.

All places of entertainment, including casinos, karaoke bars, gaming shops and cinemas, will be closed, in addition to internet cafés, massage and spa facilities, barber shops, beauty salons, snooker clubs, night markets, food gardens, tourist attractions, guesthouses, hotels and refreshment shops.

Published : September 21, 2021