Laos reopens international borders after two years to travelers

More than two years into the pandemic, Laos has reopened its international borders, which had been closed for two years now due to uncertainty across the world over the virus.

The Southeast Asian nation reopened to all tourists and visitors on May 9, 2022, just over two years after the country imposed strict travel restrictions in an attempt to combat the pandemic and reduce the spread of the virus. Last Saturday, the head of the country’s government agency responsible for controlling COVID-19, Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, announced the reopening date – the final stage of their three-phase plan, reports Channel News Asia.

Laos is reopening to tourists – here’s what we know

Chanthavongsa said those wishing to enter the country will need vaccination certificates or tests for the COVID-19 virus, whether they are Lao citizens or international travellers. According to ABC Newsthese rules apply to passengers over the age of 12 who, without being in possession of vaccination certificates, must present a negative ATK test carried out within 48 hours of departure.

Additionally, in the three-phase opening plan, Laos has also eased restrictions in entertainment venues such as karaoke parlors, as long as they comply with COVID-19 regulations.

Laos is one of the last countries to reopen to visitors, albeit with vaccination and testing mandates in place. The country welcomed around 4.79 million foreign visitors in 2019, before the pandemic took hold of the world. The number dropped significantly in 2020, before borders closed and the world went into lockdown, according to media reports.

According to reports, controlled by the State Vientiane time The newspaper’s website quoted Deputy Health Minister Snong Thongsna as saying the decision to reopen international borders was based on the drop in COVID-19 cases in Laos as well as the rest of the world, the number average of new infections dwindling to less than 200 now in the nation.

Although one of the poorest Asian countries, Laos is home to stunning natural beauty and cultural sites, which help it attract visitors. The reopening of borders will boost traveler confidence in the country.

Hero and featured image: Courtesy of Molydar SOUAMA/Unsplash

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