Laos: No travel privileges even with two doses of vaccine, says top official


VIENTIANE, June 18 (Vientiane Times/ANN): Everyone entering Laos must comply all of the standard Covid-19 prevention and control measures, even if they have had two doses of a Covid vaccine, a senior government official has said.

Vaccinated travellers still need to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival in Laos, Director General of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, Dr Phonepaseuth Ounaphome, said.

“We have not introduced a special policy to shorten the quarantine period, ” he told Vientiane Times on Tuesday. “We are still imposing uniform measures.”

Lao authorities have asked the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Laos to provide guidance in this regard, he added.

Some countries wanting to revive their tourism industries have considered reducing the quarantine period to seven or three days for people who have had two vaccinations.

To do so, Dr Phonepaseuth said countries in the region or involved countries needed to be in agreement and introduce what he called a standard Covid-19 vaccination passport (vaccination certificate), which would shorten the quarantine period.

However, the WHO has not recommended any reduction in the quarantine period so Lao authorities are continuing to comply with WHO’s current recommendations, he added.

However, Dr Phonepaseuth said that people who had received two doses of a vaccine would benefit from a special policy on domestic travel, in line with the government’s Covid-19 prevention and control measures.

Under these rules, passenger transport by air and road between Vientiane and the provinces is permitted for people who have had two vaccinations at least one month prior to travel. These individuals will also not need to spend 14 days in quarantine.

In addition, travel within localities where there is no community outbreak is permitted including for those have not been vaccinated.

Passenger transport among provinces where there is no community outbreak is also permitted and quarantining is not required.

Dr Phonepaseuth said the use of vaccination certificates would result in several benefits after the lockdown is lifted and that travel and other activities may require the presentation of vaccination certificates in order to be approved.

Lao authorities are now speeding up the vaccination programme, hoping to immunise 50 percent (more than 3 million people) of the population by the end of this year.

As of June 12, some 712, 793 people had received their first dose of a vaccine, while 385, 921 had been given a second dose, according to the Ministry of Health. - Vientiane Times/ANN

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