COVID Update for July 2021
COVID Update for July 2021


COVID Update for July 2021


June initially appeared to offer a glimmer of hope for the COVID situation in Laos. However the continued spread and lockdown orders offer little respite for the country or the economy.


The Lao government responded quickly to the initial outbreak, issuing a lockdown for Vientiane prefecture and then for the entire country. All people in Laos are required to stay at home except for essential workers or those undertaking essential tasks such as shopping for food. For full details please check the Lao Government’s COVID page at For full details in English please refer to the official translations published by your embassy through their social media channels. 


There has been a general downward trend in community transmission within Laos. However there continue to be new cases detected everyday and the spread is not completely under control. There are also significant numbers of imported cases being detected in quarantine facilities, predominantly from migrant workers returning from Thailand. 


For now interprovincial travel is restricted, flights and bus services are mostly cancelled, and people are expected to stay at home unless they are essential workers. People who must travel domestically to return home, or to catch approved international flights must seek approval from the COVID taskforce before travelling. 

Both domestic airlines have announced that they will resume services, however passengers must have had two doses of the vaccine and permission to travel from the COVID taskforce. 

The lockdown is currently scheduled to last until mid July, but will be extended if community transmissions continue.


Under the revised lockdown rules restaurants have been allowed to open for dine in service, however they may not serve alcohol. All bars and pubs must remain closed. A well-known restaurant/bar in Vientiane was serving alcohol illegally and was raided by police with a video of the raid published on social media. Some private parties have also been raided by police in an effort to curb the spread of community transmissions. Please follow the lockdown restrictions and do not attend private parties or venues serving alcohol.


Laos is continuing with its vaccine rollout. Sinopharm vaccines are widely available, especially within the large cities. Pfizer vaccines have begun to be administered but only available for those over 60 or with underlying health issues. The second round of AstraZeneca vaccines have begun for those who have already had their first dose. More doses of the AZ vaccine are scheduled to arrive in July and will be available for people to have their second dose. 


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 late May and are 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 earlier and continue to be enforced. 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. 


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 cautiously optimistic. The lockdown is a challenge for many people, but the hope is that it will stop the spread of the virus and that life in Laos can return back to normal. However for this to happen it is imperative that people follow the lockdown instructions and get tested if they have been in contact with infected people or are suffering COVID symptoms. If you need to be tested, please call the COVID hotline on 166 or 165. 


For now, stay home, stay safe, and together we can get through this difficult period. 




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.