COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Last updated:   June 13, 2022

***  As of 12:01 a.m. EDT June 12, 2022, the CDC order requiring all persons aged two and above to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States, is rescinded.  Starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 12, 2022, the CDC will no longer order air passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test result, or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19, prior to boarding a flight to the United States.  Of note, CDC’s Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizen nonimmigrants to travel to the United States is still in effect.  For more information see Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers.

Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information

  • Before entering Lao PDR, PCR tests are no longer required for entry and have a vaccination card
  • The following entities are allowed to operate with adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures:
    • Entertainment venues – bars, tourist sites, night markets, etc.
    • Massage parlors, spas, beauty parlors
    • banks and other financial institutions
    • gas stations and convenience stores
    • hospitals and medical centers
    • hotels and resorts
    • medical emergency services
    • pharmacies
    • postal service
    • supermarkets, agricultural and fresh markets
    • telecommunication, electricity, and water supply providers
    • restaurants and coffee shops
    • retailers and food vendors
    • factories
    • indoor and outdoor sports centers
    • Schools and educational institutions at every level

COVID-19 Testing

Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Laos? Yes

If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes

For information on limited humanitarian exemptions to U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) requirement that all U.S. bound travelers present a negative COVID-19 test, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.htm

U.S. citizens can obtain a COVID-19 test in Laos at The National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE)  in Vientiane. The following information of U.S. citizens is needed to obtain a COVID-19 test: 1. Copy of Passport, 2. Itinerary, 3. A fee of 650,000 Lao kip (approximately $65) may be necessary for U.S. citizens. There are some exceptions to the cost of testing for diplomatic travelers.

A physical copy of test result will be available to pick up within 3 to 5 hours after collection of the sample (for urgent cases, results can be obtained within one hour)

The National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE) is the central authority for COVID-19 in Laos (tel: 021-312351.)  In order to be tested for COVID-19, you must qualify under the following testing criteria:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19;
  • People with severe acute respiratory infection;
  • People who will travel abroad (and are approved by the Government of Laos COVID-19 Task Force)

There may be fees for each COVID-19 test of up 1.2 million Lao kip (approximately $130), depending on your visa class.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

Has the government of Laos approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes

Are vaccines available in Laos for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes

Which vaccines are available in Laos?  See the links below.

The Government of Laos has approved several COVID-19 vaccines for use and has made them available to foreigners who meet eligibility criteria.  For details on how and where Laos administers the vaccine, where to receive a COVID-19 test, or questions about receiving treatment for COVID-19, please call the nationwide Laos COVID-19 hotline by dialing 166. Additionally, please visit the following website for more details about how the government of Laos is responding to COVID-19: https://sites.google.com/view/epilao.

Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.

The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please see above and follow host country developments and guidelines to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination program in Laos.

Entry and Exit Requirements

Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter?  Yes, travelers can apply for a visa to enter the country.  Travelers must have a certificate of vaccination to prove that they are fully vaccinated.  The CDC vaccine card from the United States is accepted.

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No

Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?  No

According to the Lao Department of Immigration, U.S. Citizens seeking to extend visas that have expired due to unforeseen circumstances related to COVID-19 can do so at the Department of Immigration Office in Vientiane.  U.S. Citizens outside Vientiane can request extensions at provincial Public Security Offices.  Extensions can be requested in one-month increments, at a rate of 20,000 kip (around USD $2.50) per day of extension.  Thus, a one-month extension should cost around $75, plus a nominal administrative fee.  Though not required, some immigration officers may request a letter from the U.S. Embassy in support of visa extension requests.  The Embassy can provide such a letter if necessary; please direct requests to conslao@state.gov.

Movement Restrictions

Is a curfew in place? No

Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Quarantine Information 

Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No

Transportation Options

Domestic and international flights are operating regularly.

Notifications of sudden and significant reductions in flight availability will be reported via messages sent to those who have enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Please enroll with STEP using the link to receive these alerts or you can find them on our alerts page.

Is public transportation operating? Yes

Consular Operations:

The Consular Section has resumed routine services for U.S. citizens and visa applicants. However, the U.S. Embassy is only able to admit individuals who have scheduled appointments. Please schedule an appointment online or email the Consular Section, if you have any questions.

U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos
+856 (0)21 487 000
Email: conslao@state.gov
la.usembassy.gov

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Laos Country Information

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

Local Resources:

The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs COVID-19 page can be found here 

Other links:

Update 05/26/2021: U.S. citizens may directly return to the United States with certain expired U.S. passports

If you are overseas and your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport to return directly to the United States until December 31, 2021.

You qualify for this exception if all the following are true:

  • You are a U.S. citizen.
  • You are currently abroad seeking direct return to the United States.
  • You are flying directly to the United States, a United States territory, or have only short-term transit (“connecting flights”) through a foreign country on your direct return to the United States or to a United States Territory.
  • Your expired passport was originally valid for 10 years.  Or, if you were 15 years of age or younger when the passport was issued, your expired passport was valid for 5 years.
  • Your expired passport is undamaged.
  • Your expired passport is unaltered.
  • Your expired passport is in your possession.

You do not qualify for this exception if:

  • You wish to depart from the United States to an international destination.
  • You are currently abroad seeking to travel to a foreign country for any length of stay longer than an airport connection en route to the United States or to a United States territory.
  • Your expired passport was limited in validity.
  • Your expired passport is a special issuance passport (such as a diplomatic, official, service, or no-fee regular passport).
  • Your expired passport is damaged.
  • Your expired passport is altered.
  • Your expired passport is not in your possession.

Please be advised that currently, routine passport processing in the United States can take 10-12 weeks.  If you need a passport in less than 10-12 weeks due to international travel plans, you can pay an additional $60 fee to expedite your passport, which will shorten the processing time to 4-6 weeks. If your U.S. passport expired on or before December 31, 2019, please see our website for information on how to renew your passport before traveling.