The Lao government has extended the lockdown for another 15 days until June 19, with restrictions to continue in areas of infection known as red zones, while some virus control measures have been eased.
The Prime Minister’s Office on June 4 issued a notice extending the virus prevention and control measures specified in Prime Ministerial Order No 15 and additional measures imposed by relevant authorities.
Given that some provinces, and Vientiane in particular, are still experiencing community outbreaks of Covid-19, the government said the continuation of restrictions was necessary.
However, to ease the impacts on businesses and livelihoods, the government has eased some measures and will continue to permit shopping malls and wholesale and retail shops to remain open. Supermarkets, minimarts, fresh and food markets are also permitted to continue to operate.
Restaurants and coffee shops will now be allowed to seat customers, unlike before when only takeaway service was permitted. But business operators are required to ensure that customers social-distance and remain 1m apart. The sale of alcoholic drinks is prohibited.
Educational institutions are permitted to reopen in provinces where there is no community outbreak.
Meetings may be organised outside red zones but participants must sit 1m apart.
Casinos outside of red zones may reopen but the management must submit a plan for the rollout of virus prevention and control measures to authorities for approval.
Fishing from boats is now permitted in river border areas between the hours of 8am and 6pm. Local authorities and security forces are instructed to draw up regulations to manage the situation.
Travel in areas where there is no community outbreak of the virus can continue as normal.
Passenger transports by road between provinces where there is no community outbreak are permitted and quarantine is not required.
In addition, air and road passenger transport between Vientiane and the provinces is permitted. Passengers who have had two doses of Covid-19 vaccine for one month do not need to quarantine for 14 days.
Drivers of transport trucks and their assistants may drive to their destination province without having to unload goods and change trucks as before. They are also not required to be tested for Covid-19 or spend 14 days in quarantine.
Although some restrictions have been lifted, everyone is required to continue to comply with basic Covid-19 prevention and control measures, including social distancing of 1m, temperature checks, wearing of face masks and regular handwashing.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK