Lao and foreign nationals wanting to enter Laos from countries with no community outbreak of coronavirus are required to obtain a certificate indicating they have tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of departure from their country of origin.
This was one of the criteria detailed in a notice issued on Wednesday by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control for entry into Laos.
It comes as the government is easing Covid-19 prevention and control measures, which now permit people from countries with no community outbreak to enter Laos if they meet the specified criteria.
Upon arrival in Laos, incomers will again be tested for Covid-19 and will be quarantined at a designated location for 48 hours while they await the test results.
The taskforce will consider, based on the outbreak situation in incomers’ country of origin, whether to allow new arrivals to continue quarantining at home, their workplace or a hotel for the remainder of the requisite 14-day period.
Previously, people entering Laos were required to spend the 14-day quarantine period only at places designated by the taskforce.
If a Lao national tests negative and is allowed to continue to quarantine at home until the 14 days have passed, local authorities and his or her family are required to ensure he or she strictly observes the instructions issued by the taskforce during the quarantine period.
The instructions include daily temperature checks, regular washing of hands with soap or alcohol-based sanitiser, not going out, maintaining social distancing, and calling the hotline number 165 or 166 if feeling unwell.
If a foreign national tests negative for the virus and is allowed to continue to quarantine at their home, workplace or hotel for the remainder of the 14-day period, he or she may work so long as the workplace is not crowded.
The person’s company or employer is required to follow up and report the circumstances to local authorities. The person being quarantined is also required to comply with the same instructions given to Lao nationals.
Different rules will be applied to foreign tour groups entering Laos so that foreign tourists do not need to spend 14 days in quarantine.
However, each member of a foreign tour group must obtain a Covid-19 test certificate within 72 hours of departure and a 14-day quarantine certificate issued by the country from which they are departing.
If all members test negative upon arrival in Laos, tour groups can travel in accordance with their programme.
Any incomer who tests positive upon entry into Laos will be isolated and sent to hospital for observation and possible treatment.
People coming to Laos from countries with a community outbreak of the virus will be quarantined for 14 days at centres designated by the taskforce.
Laos reported its last verified case of Covid-19 on September 10. There have been 23 confirmed cases in the country with 22 patients discharged from hospital.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK