On April 21, the Lao P.D.R. Prime Minister’s Office issued a new order which will be effective from 6 A.M. on Thursday, April 22 until midnight on Wednesday, May 5. The order includes the following points of interest to U.S. citizens:
- Travel is prohibited out from the Vientiane Capital district to the provinces. Travel into the Vientiane Capital district is also prohibited except for returning residents, those who work in the capital, or have obtained special permission from the COVID-19 Task Force. Transportation to and from the capital district will be suspended and the police will set up checkpoints to enforce the order.
- Vientiane residents are not permitted to leave their homes except for necessary activities such as buying food, for medical emergencies, or if they are essential government workers (firefighters, police, military, and other critical infrastructure workers). Agricultural workers are also permitted to leave their homes as necessary.
- Gatherings of groups of more than 20 people are prohibited, except for funerals and certain religious activities such as alms offerings. Such exempted events still must adhere to all previously announced COVID-19 prevention measures including conducting temperature checks, maintaining social distancing of at least one meter, wearing masks, and using hand sanitizer.
- All ground-based border crossings will remain closed except for transportation of goods.
- Entertainment venues such as karaoke or beer bars, internet cafes, spas and massage places, fitness venues and all indoor sports facilities are ordered closed.
- The following entities are allowed to continue to operate: factories, banks and other financial institutions, the stock exchange, hospitals and medical centers, pharmacies, medical emergency services, postal service, telecommunication, electricity providers, water supply facilities, waste collectors, agricultural markets, convenience stores, supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants and coffee shops.
- Hotels and resorts can continue to operate but have to strictly adhere to aforementioned COVID-19 prevention measures and reduce the number of their staff.
Suspension of Embassy Consular Services
To comply with the above order, the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane will suspend all visa and routine U.S. citizen services except for emergencies. All current non-immigrant and immigrant visa appointments are canceled until further notice. The U.S. Embassy in Vientiane will provide notification on the Embassy website (https://la.usembassy.gov/) once we resume consular services.
If you are an American citizen and require emergency assistance, please contact us by phone at +856 (0)21 487 000 or via email at CONSLao@state.gov.
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 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 U.S.
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
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