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Laos Further Relaxes Covid-19 Prevention Measures

By Latsamy Phonevilay THE LOATIAN TIMES Wed, July 1, 2020

VIENTIANE – A new government notice issued yesterday allows for the further easing of certain restrictions and Covid-19 prevention measures.

Speaking on behalf of the National Task Force Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr. Bounkong Syhavong, explained the latest notice released by the Prime Minister’s Office at a press conference held in Vientiane yesterday afternoon.

Under the notice, a ban on sporting competitions has been lifted, however, organizers are to ensure stadiums do not become overcrowded.

Strict Covid-19 prevention guidelines issued by the national taskforce must remain in place at all sporting events, such as social distancing measures and provision of face masks and hand gel.

Casinos will be allowed to resume operations, according to the notice, but must also comply with covid prevention measures.

Social gatherings, weddings, parties, and traditional festivals may now be held, however, organizers must follow strict guidelines laid out by the national taskforce.

Meanwhile, entertainment venues including karaoke bars, nightclubs, and internet cafes will remain closed in order to prevent a second wave of the Covid-19 virus appearing in Laos.

Also off-limits are traditional border crossings, which will remain closed with the exception of freight transportation.

International borders are open for Lao citizens and foreigners with proper authorization to enter or exit Laos, while freight transportation will continue as normal.

Tourist visas are not being issued for persons coming from or transitting through countries that remain affected by the Covid-19 virus.

According to the notice, entry visas are to be issued only for diplomats, the staff of international organizations, businesspeople, experts, and authorized foreign labor. These visas must be approved by the Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control

The Prime Minster’s Office states under its notice that the relaxation of measures remains temporary, and if new cases are detected in the country then the government will reestablish strict measures to limit the spread of the virus.

The government of Laos an initial declared victory over Covid-19 on June 11, following the discharge of all 19 confirmed cases from hospital, with no new cases for 59 days.

Source: THE LOATIAN TIMES, LAOS Wed, July 1, 2020

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