COVID-19 Information

Update 06/23/2020: A private business, TicketLao, has organized a special Lao Airlines flight from Vientiane (VTE) to Seoul (ICN), expected to depart 00:15 on Sunday, July 5, and arrive in Seoul at approximately 07:05 the same day.  Tickets for this flight can be purchased by contacting TicketLao at ticketlao@naver.com or +856 (0)20 52 558 787 or Lao Airlines at 1626.

U.S. Citizen travelers must have a ticket for a connecting flight departing Incheon International Airport within 24 hours of arrival in South Korea toward their final destination due to South Korean quarantine regulations. Please direct all questions regarding this commercial flight to TicketLao. The Embassy is not organizing this flight and cannot answer any questions.

We encourage U.S. Citizens who want to return to the United States immediately to book this flight. Please read the whole announcement which can be found here: https://la.usembassy.gov/health-and-travel-alert-commercial-flight-from-vientiane-to-seoul-on-july-5/

Update 06/04/2020: On June 1, the Government of Laos announced new entry and exit regulations to reduce and contain the spread of COVID-19. These regulations will be in effect until June 30 and complement measures outlined in the Embassy’s June 1 Health and Travel Alert.

  • All land border crossings and airports will remain closed;
  • Entry into Laos is granted only in very limited circumstances;
  • All entrants will be subject to COVID-19 testing and a 14-day self-quarantine requirement at their own expense;
  • All U.S. Citizens who wish to depart Laos must inform the Embassy. The Embassy will then formally notify the Government of Laos.

A  We urge all U.S. Citizens who have exact travel plans departing Laos before June 30 to inform us via email at  ConsLao@state.gov so that we can notify the Government of Laos. Please note that before you contact us for an exit permission, you must be able to provide specific information such as time and point/port of departure and mode of transportation. Please read the full announcement here https://la.usembassy.gov/alert-6420/

Update 06/04/2020: Envoy Air Services, a Dutch charter company, is arranging a flight from Laos. Interested U.S. Citizens can find more information here. Please note that this flight is arranged by a private business; the Embassy makes no guarantee of quality of service or availability of tickets for U.S. citizens. The Embassy cannot answer questions about the flight or seat availability; please direct such questions to the contact details above. The Embassy also will not make travel arrangements on your behalf.

Update 06/01/2020: On May 29, the Government of Laos announced new measures that relax some of the restrictions announced by the Government of Laos on May 15. The measures will be in effect until 30 June, 2020.  Although this new announcement relaxes some of the restriction imposed earlier, standard social distancing and hygiene measures remain in place.  These include keeping one meter distance from one another, hand washing/use of sanitizer, wearing masks, monitoring body temperature, and proper disinfection of areas. The full announcement can be found here https://la.usembassy.gov/health-and-travel-alert-u-s-embassy-vientiane-laos-6/ 

Update 05/28/2020-Urgent information for visa applicants regarding novel coronavirus: Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior preceding to their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996 and the subsequent proclamation issued May 24, 2020:

–          Brazil 

          The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe;

          The Republic of Ireland;

          The 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland)

          The Islamic Republic of Iran;

          The People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau

There are certain exceptions to the suspension of entry, including exceptions for U.S. lawful permanent residents and certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, among other exceptions listed in the proclamations. If you reside in, have traveled recently to, or intend to transit or travel to the above list of countries prior to your planned trip to the United States, we recommend you postpone your visa interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to your departure from the subject country(ries). Additionally, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or believe you may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, you are strongly encouraged to postpone your appointment by at least 14 days. There is no fee to change an appointment and visa application fees are valid for one year in the country where the fee was paid. For questions about rescheduling a pending consular appointment, please contact us at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/la/index.html for specific guidance.

Update 05/21/2020: A private business, TicketLao, has organized a special Lao Airlines flight from Vientiane (VTE) to Seoul (ICN), expected to depart 00:15 on Saturday, May 30, and arriving in Seoul at approximately 07:05 the same day.  Tickets for this flight can be purchased by contacting TicketLao at ticketlao@naver.com or +856 (0)20 52 558 787 or Lao Airlines at 1626.

U.S. Citizen travelers must have a ticket for a connecting flight departing Incheon International Airport within 24 hours of arrival in South Korea toward their final destination due to South Korean quarantine regulations. Please direct all questions regarding this commercial flight to TicketLao. The Embassy is not organizing this flight and cannot answer any questions.

We encourage U.S. Citizens who want to return to the United States immediately to book this flight. Please read the whole announcement which can be found here: https://la.usembassy.gov/alert-52120/

Update 05/19/2020: On May 15, the Government of Laos announced new entry and exit regulations to reduce and contain the spread of COVID-19.  The regulations, which will be in effect until June1, can be found in the Embassy’s May 17 Travel Alert. Details can be found here :https://la.usembassy.gov/health-and-travel-alert-u-s-embassy-vientiane-laos-4/

Important Note: All U.S. Citizens who wish to depart Laos must now register at the U.S. Embassy. The Embassy will then formally request permission for departure from the Government of Laos.

The Embassy urges U.S. Citizens who plan to depart Laos before June 1 to inform the Embassy at their earliest possible convenience so that we may assist you in requesting permission from the Government of Laos. Please contact the Embassy at: ConsLao@state.gov if you have plans to depart Laos before June 1.

Update 05/18/2020: On May 16, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the extension until June 30 of the ban on incoming international flights. You can find more information on the website of the CAAT.

Update 05/17/2020: On May 15, the Government of Laos announced new measures to reduce and contain the spread of COVID-19. These measures will be in effect from May 18 to June 1, 2020. For details of the new measures can be found at this link: https://la.usembassy.gov/travel-alert-and-travel-alert-u-s-embassy-vientiane-laos-3/ 

Update 05/05/2020: On May 04, the Government of Laos (GOL) announced new enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. U.S. Citizens who have a work permit or who have been granted permission from the GOL to work in Laos are required to present at the port of embarkation a Certificate of Entry into Laos issued by the Lao Embassy or Lao Consulate General in their country of departure. U.S. Citizens must also furnish a completed Declaration Form and Fit to Fly Health Certificate issued no more than 72 hours before traveling. Upon entry into Laos, U.S. Citizens will be required to take a COVID-19 test and spend 14 days in self-quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense. These measures will be in effect until at least May 17. The full text of the announcement can be found here (PDF 917 KB).

Update 5/04/2020: On May 1st, 2020 the GOL announced the easing of certain COVID-19 restrictions. Government offices and certain businesses will be allowed to operate again with preventative measures and limitations in place. Inter-provincial travel will remain restricted and entertainment venues and large social gatherings will remain prohibited. The new order will take effect from May 4 to 17, 2020. Please see this link (PDF 156 KB) for the full text of the announcement and read it carefully.

Update 4/28/2020: Thailand Extends Ban on Incoming International Flights Until May 31

On April 27, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the extension until May 31 of the ban on incoming international flights.  You can find more information on the websites of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and the CAAT.

Domestic Commercial Flights Resume May 8

Lao Airlines announced that it would resume its domestic routes on Friday, May 8.  Passengers can start to reserve tickets starting May 4.  Tickets can be reserved by contacting Lao Airlines at +856 (0)21 510 040 or 1626.

Commercial Flight from Vientiane to Seoul

A private business, TicketLao, has organized a special Lao Airlines flight from Vientiane (VTE) to Seoul (ICN), expected to depart 00:45 on Saturday, May 9, and arrive in Seoul at approximately 07:00 the same day.  A number of tickets are still available.  Tickets cost USD$775/adult, USD$500/child under 12, and USD$200/child under 2 (in lap).

In addition to purchasing this VTE-ICN ticket (details below), U.S. Citizen travelers must make arrangements using available commercial means (e.g. online or a travel agent) for a connecting flight departing Incheon International Airport within 24 hours of arrival in South Korea (i.e. no later than 07:00 on Sunday, May 10) toward their final destination in the United States.  You must be able to present proof of purchase of this onward ticket to be allowed to board the plane in Vientiane.

Please note that the Republic of Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) imposes a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all inbound passengers.  Most foreign travelers on short-term travel will be required to quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense for 14 days (this includes U.S. citizens traveling on 90-day visa free travel and short-term visa holders).  The facility will cost approximately 100 U.S. dollars per night.  All passengers who exhibit symptoms will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing on arrival at the airport.

Passengers transiting through Incheon International Airport to third countries will not face this quarantine requirement.  Thus, U.S. Citizens who purchase tickets on this flight must not leave the passenger area of Incheon International Airport, and must arrange onward travel that departs within 24 hours of their arrival.   You can find more information at the website of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

We encourage U.S. Citizens who want to return to the United States immediately to book this flight if they have the means to do so and can arrange ongoing travel accordingly. We are not aware of any other commercial flight routes from Vientiane to an airport with connecting flights to the United States.  The U.S. Embassy is not organizing another special chartered flight.

Tickets for this flight can be purchased by contacting TicketLao at ticketlao@naver.com or +856 (0)20 55 559 288 or +856 (0)20 52 554 747. 

These tickets are limited and are available to the general public.  Please note that this flight is arranged by a private business; the Embassy makes no guarantee of quality of service or availability of tickets for U.S. citizens.  The Embassy cannot answer questions about the flight or seat availability; please direct such questions to the contact details above.  The Embassy also will not make travel arrangements on your behalf.

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. 

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

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: