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Covid-19 insurance needed to enter Laos

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Passengers pass in front of a temperature screening camera at the arrivals area of Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Laos on March 11, 2020. AFP

Covid-19 insurance needed to enter Laos

Laos’ National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control is requiring all foreign citizens entering the country to purchase Covid-19 insurance through the Ministry of Health.

Covid-19 insurance is now mandatory in addition to other travel documents and requests for permission to enter the country, which must be submitted to the ministry.

A senior ministry official told Vientiane Times that non-Lao citizens wishing to enter Laos must contact their embassy concerning Covid-19 insurance, which will cover the cost of any medication prescribed in the event that the policyholder contracts the virus.

The most comprehensive policies will also insure policyholders against any losses incurred as a result of illness due to the virus.

The special cover is now required because ordinary health and travel insurance policies do not provide cover against pandemics, including any incidents relating to Covid-19.

Given the cost of hospital treatment and the possible need for repatriation, especially when considering quarantine requirements, the government is concerned that it could be responsible for unpaid hospital bills if foreigners contract the virus and are unable to pay for treatment.

Unlike mandatory health insurance for retirees, Covid-19 insurance may be issued by an international insurance provider or a Laos-based insurance firm.

It is possible to obtain inbound travel insurance that covers Covid-19. A Covid-19 insurance policy typically covers the cost of self-isolation, quarantine, testing and treatment, and repatriation of a victim’s body in the event of death from the virus while in Laos.

It should also cover any additional, unforeseen out-of-pocket expenses that arise as a result of infection with the virus. This could include lost travel bookings, flights or other expenses resulting from travel disruption or curtailment.

Meanwhile, everyone is required to abide by government guidelines to ensure effective control of the coronavirus and prevent its spread. Members of the public must continue to comply with Prime Minister’s Orders and the guidelines issued by the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, even though there are positive signs that Laos has succeeded in containing the virus.

Everyone entering Laos has their temperature checked, although no one has showed signs of fever to date. Laos’ 35 quarantine centres currently house 3,216 people.

Uniform standards of self-monitoring and quarantine are required for the staff of international organisations, business executives, and general workers after entering Laos.

A 14-day period of self-monitoring is required for everyone entering the country even if they have no symptoms of Covid-19.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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