COVID-19: Laos Travel Updates

Vang Vieng Sunset View Over Town and Mountains

Updated 18th January 2022.


LATEST LAOS COVID-19 NEWS: 

  • 11th January 2022 – Laos receives first international visitors under Green Travel Plan. Source.
  • 2nd January 2022 – Laos reopened to international tourism on 1st January. It has also given an additional 14 countries permission to enter under its Green Travel Plan. Source.
  • 23rd December 2021 – The government has announced that it will reopen three districts in Luang Prabang province to international tourists in January. Source.
  • 17th December 2021 – Laos has formally announced that it will reopen for international travel on 1st January 2022. Source. The reopening will follow a three stage plan and arrivals will need to be fully vaccinated. Source.

Disclaimer: COVID-19 travel restrictions are changing every day and the following information reflects South East Asia’s Backpacker’s understanding of the current rules for entry. While we update this article regularly to ensure the information is as current as it can be, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

Laos Travel Restrictions

Can you travel to Laos right now?

Yes, via the Green Travel Scheme. See below.

At this time, Laos recognises the following COVID-19 vaccines:

Pfizer, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Sputnik Light, Janssen.

Green Travel Scheme

A number of countries are now allowed to enter Laos via the Green Travel Scheme (applies to Vientiane Capital, Luang Prabang Province, and Vang Vieng District in Vientiane Province only). This includes travellers from China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, France, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, United States, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Israel, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, New Zealand, Poland, Denmark, and Belgium.


Entry Requirements

Before you enter Laos, you will need:

Required Entry Documents

  • A Certificate of Entry issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
  • Valid visa for Laos.
  • Complete a Health Declaration Form. (The application form for the Health Declaration is available on the official MFA website here.)
  • Present a ‘Fit to Fly’ Certificate issued no more than 72 hours prior to travel.
  • Show a 14-night booking at a quarantine hotel or centre.
  • You must have available at least $400 USD in cash (new, clean notes) to pay for the mandatory COVID-19 insurance ($100 USD), rental and deposit of the GPS tracker ($6 USD X 15 days) + $200 USD refundable deposit, COVID-19 PCR test ($65 USD). (See more info on this below.) 

Insurance

  • Your travel insurance must cover COVID-19, with a policy in English language. It needs to cover potential hospitilisation, treatment and costs of quarantine if medically required

Our Recommended Travel Insurance During the COVID-19 Pandemic – SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance is one of the few travel insurance offering full COVID-19 sickness cover as part of their International Medical Cover.

COVID-19 Tests Required

  • You will be required to take a COVID-19 test and provide a negative test result no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival in Laos.
  • You will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Laos at your own expense. If you test positive you will be immediately taken to the hospital in Vientiane for treatment. The hospitals being used for testing and treatment are Mittaphab, Mahosot, the National Military Hospital and Setthathirath in the capital, Vientiane.
  • You do not need a COVID-19 test to depart Laos, although the airline that you are flying with may require you to produce one before travelling. 

Upon Arrival

Quarantine Period

All arrivals to Laos will have to do a 14-day quarantine at a designated government location (hotel or government centre). The traveller must cover all of the costs associated with the quarantine. A tracking device will be fitted to the traveller upon arrival which he/she must wear during quarantine at all times. (A rental fee for the tracking device will be charged to the traveller.)

It is not yet known whether quarantine will apply to those entering via the Green Travel Plan.


Local COVID-19 Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations below are only meant to serve as a guide and the situation is prone to change rapidly without warning. For more information on local rules and restrictions visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR.

  • FACE COVERINGS – Compulsory in all public places. Also see: Best face masks for travel. 
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING – In force across the country.
  • CURFEWS – Curfews can be introduced without notice. Keep an eye on local media.
  • PUBLIC TRANSPORT – Masks must be worn.
  • VENUES AND GATHERINGS – Hotels and guesthouses are open in Laos, however many have closed due to low tourist numbers. Reservations should be made directly with the accommodation in advance of travel. Many businesses are closed, including gymnasiums, spas, markets, cinemas, theatres and other tourist attractions. In businesses that are open, COVID-19 preventative measures are in place, social distancing, face coverings, temperature checks and hand hygiene.
  • MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE – Officially, travel restrictions in Laos have ended for fully vaccinated travellers. However, individual provinces have started to issue their own travel restrictions.

Land Borders

Border crossings to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are open with restrictions. If you are travelling overland, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test before crossing the border. The Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge is operating with restricted access. Commercial goods and medical supplies are allowed to cross currently.


Resources:

Dave Noakes Bio Pic, with Nikki Scott
Nikki Scott | Founder & Editor

Nikki is the founding editor of South East Asia Backpacker. At age 23, she left the UK on a solo backpacking trip and never returned. After six months on the road, she founded a print magazine about backpacking in Asia. The rest is history.

Find me: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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