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Laos updates entry and exit rules

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VIENTIANE, Laos, 4 June 2020: Laos has announced an easing of entry and exit rules effective 1 June as the country attempts to reboot its battered economy and revive investment projects.

Details were announced by the Secretariat of the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control under the Ministry of Health.

Patuxai arch monument in Vientiane, the Capital of Laos.

The update published by Vientiane Times, the government’s official newspaper outlet, outlines government measures to ease restrictions and enable businesses to resume operation.

Companies that are involved in investment projects are now allowed to bring in foreign technical staff, but they must comply with the procedures imposed by the relevant ministries.

Lao nationals in foreign countries who wish to return to Laos are required to register with a Lao PDR embassy or consulate in the country of their residence to determine how their return can be facilitated.

Lao state agencies wishing to bring in foreign experts or students for essential reasons must also submit a document to the Secretariat.

People who already have a valid entry visa can now use it to enter Laos. Those who do not have one should apply for a visa from a Lao embassy or consulate in their country of origin to begin the process of approval to visit the country.

All incoming foreigners must be tested for Covid-19 and obtain a certificate indicating they have tested negative for the virus. This must be issued in the country from which they have departed and presented to authorities at the Lao border.

The certificate must have been issued no less than 72 hours before the start of their journey. Upon arrival at the Lao border, all visitors need to have their temperature checked and fill in a health declaration form.

Anyone found to have Covid-19-like symptoms will be taken to a hospital where they will be isolated and tested for Covid-19. People who have no symptoms are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period at a special centre or hotel and provide samples for testing.  Anyone spending the quarantine period at a pre-arranged hotel shall be responsible for all expenses.

Diplomats and their family members can undergo quarantine at their residence and will need to provide samples for testing. After the 14-day quarantine period and testing negative for Covid-19, new arrivals will receive a certificate from health authorities, enabling them to proceed to a place of residence and start work.

The ministry warned that anyone found to be violating the guidelines and instructions concerning the prevention and control of Covid-19 issued by the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control would be subject to legal action.

Lao nationals wishing to travel to another country for essential purposes need to seek permission from the relevant authorities as well as comply with the laws and regulations imposed by their country of destination.

Foreigners wishing to depart Laos are required to submit an application to their embassy in Laos. The embassy will then submit the application along with details of the departure plan and the applicant’s passport to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The new rules apply from 2 to 30 June and replace guidelines issued on 15 May.

(Source: Vientiane Times)

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