COVID-19: Laos Travel Updates

Vang Vieng Sunset View Over Town and Mountains

Updated 14th October 2021.


  • 19th September 2021 – New lockdown rules introduced in Vientiane. Source.
  • 15th September 2021 – New multi-entry visa made available to Lao people living abroad. Source.

Laos Travel Restrictions

Can you travel to Laos right now? SUMMARY:

No. All visas on arrival have been suspended until further notice and no visas are currently being issued to foreign tourists. Special entry permits may be available to foreigners with a special interest in the country (experts, technicians, diplomats). Each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Disclaimer: COVID-19 travel restrictions are changing daily. The following information reflects South East Asia Backpacker’s current understanding of the rules. We work hard to update this information as often and accurately as possible. However, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. We strongly advise you to contact the embassy of the country you are visiting for the latest information.

Before you enter Laos, you will need to:

  • Show a Certificate of Entry Certificate 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.
  • COVID-19 negative test result no more than 72 hours prior to travel.
  • Have travel insurance that covers COVID-19, with a policy in English language. You can purchase before you travel (we recommend SafetyWing) or it is possible to buy a policy upon arrival in Laos.
  • Show a 14-night booking at a quarantine hotel or centre.
  • 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.) 
  • Have available $6 USD for the bus from the airport to the quarantine facility/hotel, as well as extra cash for buying snacks, food and any other things that you may need during quarantine.

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.)

Face Masks: 

Face coverings are compulsory in all public places.

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. 

Internal Travel Restrictions in Laos:

Internal flights and public transportation is currently restricted. Travel to and from the capital of Vientiane is prohibited. The restrictions vary depending on the province. Keep an eye out for local announcements and newspaper reports when travelling.

The country is currently in strict lockdown with restrictions on business and social activity. Source.

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.

Hotels and guesthouses: 

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.

Public places: 

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.

Reports from inside Laos:

23rd June 2021 – “At the moment, Laos is still in lockdown with new cases being reported daily.  It is uncertain when things will be safe again here.  Laos is quite strict about keeping cases down, so this could be a while. Unfortunately, we cannot predict when we will open normally again.”Tamarind Cooking School, Luang Prabang


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.

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