Laos has gone from locked up to no restrictions, dropping all Covid-19 entry restrictions even as Thailand clings to its clunky Thailand Pass system.
In 2020, there were 80% fewer international visitors to Laos than in 2019, when 4.7 million foreign tourists visited the country.
Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, deputy minister and deputy head of Laos’ Prime Minister’s Office, said international checkpoints will reopen for Laotian citizens and foreigners who are fully vaccinated.
However, Laotian officials said those who have not been immunized must produce a rapid antigen test result issued within 48 hours of leaving their home country. Tourists will also be responsible for their own medical treatment if they test positive for Covid-19 while in the country.
Chiang Khong District chief Wirun Sitthiwong said the district would be ready to reopen its border checkpoint at the fourth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge connecting with Huay Xai District in Laos on June 1, if approved.
Wirun added that those entering Chiang Khong from Laos will be required to take an antigen test as a precaution against cross-border transmission.
According to Khathasit Nuengla, chief of Chiang Rai’s Chiang Saen district, which also borders Laos, the border checkpoint at Ban Sop Ruak – opposite Laos’ Ton Pheung District – is now prepared to reopen to tourists on June 1.
Pol. Col. Somkiat Sonjai, chief of the Nakhon Phanom immigration office, said he was ready for the reopening of the border checkpoint on the third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge next month.