COVID Update for the start of March 2021
COVID Update for the start of March 2021


COVID Update for the start of March 2021


At the start of another month, Laos remains in a strong position in the fight against COVID.

As of the 1st of March there are only three reported active cases of COVID, currently being treated in government hospitals. Laos has reported a total of 45 cases of COVID, with only one new case being reported in February.

The outbreak in neighbouring Thailand appears to be mostly under control, but as not overly affected Laos. There were reports of Lao migrant workers illegally returning to Laos, and the government has increased efforts to combat this threat. Workers caught entering illegally have been fined and placed in quarantine, but so far no cases have been detected.


The Government Taskforce has placed a temporary ban on all frozen and fresh seafood coming from Thailand in an attempt to stop the virus making its way into the country. While this has put some strain on the restaurant sector, alternative sources have been found via Vietnam. 


At present all areas of Laos are open to domestic travel. Unconfirmed reports on social media from Northern provinces neighbouring China suggest that police are being extremely vigilant and many small villages are barring foreigners from entering. 

While there is no national lockdown currently in place the National Taskforce reminds all people in Laos to practice good hygiene and to report for testing if they are displaying symptoms. 

The Lao Government has also begun the first round of vaccines, with 2,000 doses of the vaccine having been donated by China. An additional 300,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, were donated by China and were delivered in the first week of February.

These have been administered to volunteer frontline healthcare workers. Deputy Minister for Health as told Lao media that vaccinations for the general public are likely to begin in April. The first round of vaccines will prioritise at risk groups and frontline workers. 


Entry into Laos is still strictly controlled with no new visas being issued, with the exception of essential workers and diplomats. All people coming into Laos must undergo a 14 day quarantine in a government approved facility. Charter flights have resumed, but are extremely limited. With entry being strictly controlled it is unclear how many flights will continue to operate. Some flights are scheduled for mid to late March and likely to go ahead.

For travellers stuck in Laos, the government continues to offer unlimited visa extensions for tourist visas.


New requirements for foreigners entering Laos were announced late last month. These include purchasing mandatory COVID insurance at a cost of $100 USD, and a wearable monitoring device at a cost of $6 USD per day. It is unclear exactly when these new requirements will be rolled out. 


For anyone wishing to leave Laos it is best to contact your embassy to see what options are available. Most embassies are regularly publishing updates through their social media pages. If you wish to leave, you should contact your embassy. However with the lack of flights, options are extremely limited.

Despite the ongoing pandemic the mood in Laos is positive. The Lao Thiao Lao (Lao Travel Lao) campaign to promote domestic tourism continues to offer great deals for travel around Laos. Bars and restaurants remain open, and people are free to travel around (most) of the country. We hope that Laos is able to maintain its fantastic record in this area and people are able to continue travelling within the country.



David Ormsby

David is a writer, explorer, adventurer, outdoor educator, and guide. He was worked across the Asia Pacific in a number of different roles within the eco-tourism and outdoor industry. Since 2016 David has lived and worked in Laos, and brings a depth of experience to his writing in Laos.