COVID-19 Information

Security Alert – U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos (March 30, 2020) 

Location: Laos

Event: Possible Evacuation Flights for United States Citizens

The Department of State is preparing potential evacuation flights with capacity for private U.S. citizens on a reimbursable basis, leaving Wattay International Airport in early April 2020, and proceeding to a destination in the United States TBD.  Estimated cost per passenger will be $1125.  Details on the destination of the flight are forthcoming; passengers will be responsible for booking domestic flights to their final destinations.

Please note that all passengers will need to reimburse the U.S. Government for the flight, and a promissory note must be signed before boarding.

U.S. citizens in possession of valid U.S. passports who are interested and prepared to travel should complete this survey HERE immediately.  Please do not call to confirm receipt of your email; you will be contacted with additional information. 

Each traveler should submit their information individually (one form per passenger).  Parents/guardians should submit one form for each child that will be accompanying them, and note their relationship in the “Special Considerations” box in the form.

U.S. citizens without a valid U.S. passport who wish to depart on this flight should send their name, date of birth, and the number of their most recent expired passport to laosevac@state.gov.  Please indicate that the passport is expired.  You will be contacted with information on how to obtain an emergency passport.

U.S. Legal Permanent Residents (holders of valid Green Cards) who wish to depart on this flight should send their name, date of birth, and A number (Green Card number) to laosevac@state.gov.

Individuals on this transport may be subject to CDC screening, health observation, monitoring requirements and existing DHS entry requirements.  Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 

Actions to Take: 

·         Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. 

·         For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. 

·         Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information. 

·         Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions. Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Laos. 

·         Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 

Assistance: 

·         U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos
+856 (0)21 487 000
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 (STEP) to receive Alerts. 

·         Follow us on Facebook. 

Health and Travel Alert – U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos

On March 29, The Lao Prime Minister issued a decree instructing all people in Laos, both Lao and foreign, to stay indoors between March 30 and April 19, except for local trips to purchase food, for medical care, or to work.  Lao government staff are ordered to work from home.  Some businesses, including hospitals, hotels, banks, grocery stores, and pharmacies, will remain open.  Travel within Laos from provinces with confirmed cases of COVID-19 is prohibited.  Public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, except for funerals.  All public transportation will be stopped.  International border crossings, traditional or official, will be closed for entrance or exit, with the exception of foreigners who want to return to their own country.  The decree designates the responsibility for enforcing these measures to police and military personnel.

The Embassy is asking the Government of Laos for further details about this decree in order to understand the degree to which it may affect U.S. Citizens in Laos.  The Embassy will share any additional details in forthcoming alerts.  

CDC Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice

On March 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential international travelers.  Please visit the CDC website for additional information.

Repatriation

The Embassy is actively exploring options to assist U.S. Citizens in pursuit of repatriation to the United States.  If you would like assistance with repatriation, please fill out this survey.

Travelers should be prepared for further travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements when flights are available. 

Routine Consular Services Suspended

Effective March 26, 2020, U.S. Embassy Vientiane has suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please contact us at conslao@state.gov.  If you are a U.S. citizen seeking to depart Laos, please fill out this survey.

Actions to Take: 

·         Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. 

·         For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. 

·         Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information. 

·         Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions. Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Laos. 

·         Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 

Assistance: 

·         U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos 
+856 (0)21 487 000 
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 (STEP) to receive Alerts. 

·         Follow us on Facebook. 

 

Repatriation Flight Information:

If you are a U.S. citizen currently in Laos considering potential repatriation to the United States please fill out this survey. The Embassy is collecting this information to assist U.S. Citizens with repatriation via commercial or other means in the event such methods of travel become available; at the moment we cannot promise they will materialize. If at the time you are reading this there are still commercial air options available, we urge you to pursue them.
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation commercial air options out of Laos are increasingly limited.

At this point, most available commercial air options out of Laos are to China.   According to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, U.S. Citizens can transit Chinese airports without a visa.  However, U.S. Citizens should be aware that Chinese authorities have taken stringent measures to prevent and detect COVID-19.  You should expect to be screened for COVID-19 upon transiting China and, if you display symptoms, you may be subject to quarantine.

Please understand that the U.S. Embassy cannot arrange travel for individual U.S. Citizens.  Nor can we influence other governments to alter or abrogate their immigration laws to facilitate travel by U.S. Citizens.  However, we are in constant contact with the State Department on repatriation needs in Laos.

Global Health Advisory:

As of March 11, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.  You can find more information at travel.state.gov.

Country-Specific Information:

  • Laos has 6 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Event:  On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of US personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.On March 17, the Government of Laos declared that individuals not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms entering Laos from a country without a common border with Laos but with more than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 are required to undertake 14 days of self-quarantine after entering Laos.Individuals not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms who enter Laos from a country with a common border with Laos and from a province of that country that also shares a border with Laos are required to undertake 14 days of self-quarantine if the province from which they entered has more than 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19.Individuals not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms who enter Laos from a country with a common border with Laos and from a province of that country that does not share a border with Laos are required to undertake 14 days of self-quarantine if the province from which they entered has more than 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19.Lao authorities will send all entrants exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to a Vientiane hospital for treatment.On March 19, the Government of Laos announced a series of immigration restrictions that may affect U.S. Citizen travelers.  These restrictions are scheduled to be in place for thirty days starting March 20.  The restrictions:·         Suspend the issuance of visas on arrival for all nationals;·         Suspend the issuance of tourist visas at Lao Diplomatic Missions overseas;·         Suspend the issuance of eVisas;·         Suspend visa exemption programs for nationals of ASEAN countries and nationals of countries with signed visa exemption agreements, both unilateral       and bilateral, with the Lao PDR; andRestricted visa issuances to only those visitors who intended to visit the Lao PDR for non-tourist purposes.Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.
  • In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Laos (GOL) announced that it had discontinued issuance of tourist visas to Chinese passport holders.
  • The GOL similarly discontinued visas-on-arrival by all travelers at land borders with China.
  • Lao immigration officials are scanning international travelers upon arrival at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane and at other border entry points.
  • This remains a fluid situation. Please check for updates.

Quarantine Information:

  • There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laos. The GOL has prepared isolation rooms at some hospitals for handling suspected COVID-19 cases.
  • The government of Laos has encouraged organizers of large public gatherings to consider cancelling or postponing them, or otherwise limiting participation. Several sport competitions and public events have accordingly been cancelled throughout Laos.

Local Resources:

  • The National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE) is the central authority for COVID-19 in Laos. http://www.ncle.gov.la/

Other Links: