Laos extends Covid-19 measures till October 15
The Lao government has extended measures to counter the Covid-19 outbreak for another 15 days until October 15 as infections have continued to rise.
The pandemic has spread to almost all provinces of the country, with northern Huaphan the only Coronavirus-free province.
The Vice Chairman of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Mrs Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, told a news conference on Thursday that the government will enhance the enforcement of 14 measures to counter the pandemic.
The measures include:
- Closing all factories and enterprises where internal outbreaks have occurred and in outbreak areas. Exemption will be given to businesses permitted to function by the taskforce.
- Banning travel on roads from 9 pm to 5 am in Vientiane and provinces where community outbreaks have occurred.
- Continuing the closure of all border checkpoints for ordinary people.
- Accelerating vaccination.
- Continuing with the suspension in issuing visas for foreign visitors. Diplomats, staff of international organisations, experts and investors intending to visit Laos can apply for permission from the taskforce. In this regard, foreign ambassadors and heads of international organisations are permitted to undergo quarantine at their residence, while the rest are required to quarantine at designated hotels.
- Continuing with the closure of entertainment venues, cinemas, spa services, karaoke venues, drinking shops, internet cafés, snooker clubs, casinos and gaming shops across the country.
- Massage services, beauty salons, barber shops, night markets, food gardens and tourism sites will be closed in areas where community outbreaks have been reported.
- Travel to and from red zones will not be allowed, except for those permitted by the relevant taskforce.
- All indoor and outdoor sports activities - including competitions and activity in parks – is prohibited where community outbreaks have occurred.
- Any kind of party or gathering at any location is prohibited.
- Traders cannot unreasonably increase the price of goods or store food items for personal gain.
- School classes at all levels will be closed and entrance exams to tertiary education institutions suspended in areas with community outbreaks.
- Meetings and other activities, including traditional and ritual events involving more than 20 people, are prohibited. In essential cases, permission must be given by a Covid-19 taskforce before such events are organised.
- State and private workplaces in areas with community outbreaks shall allow their staff to work from home or assign some to come to offices by rotation.
However, the government will allow some businesses to remain open as long as they strictly observe Covid-19 prevention and control measures. These businesses include wholesale and retail shops, supermarkets, minimarts and fresh markets. These businesses must be closed by 8 pm every day.
Barber shops and beauty salons outside of red zones may open if the service providers are fully vaccinated.
Restaurants and coffee shops in areas without community outbreaks may continue to open.
Factories and enterprises located in areas without community outbreaks may continue to operate if their employees are fully vaccinated and do not live in a red zone.
Meetings can be convened outside red zones. School classes can be held in areas without community outbreaks if permission is granted by the taskforce of provinces.