Laos Fully Reopens Its Borders

Authorities have ended Covid-19 testing for vaccinated travelers to boost the tourism sector’s recovery.

An aerial view of Luang Prabang, the former Laotian royal capital. (Photo: Marcin Kilarski/iStock)

It’s now even easier to visit the UNESCO-listed town of Luang Prabang thanks to the latest changes to border measures in Laos. Citing the significant decline of coronavirus caseloads across the country, senior officials have brought in new entry rules from today. All international border checkpoints are being reopened, and visitors who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before their arrival will be exempt from all mandatory testing.

Visa-free access has also been reinstated for citizens of fellow ASEAN nations, Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland. Tourists from other countries can now apply for an e-visa online or a visa on arrival at certain ports of entry, including the airports at Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

Unvaccinated visitors aged 12 years old and above will still be welcome, so long as they take a rapid antigen test no more than 48 hours before departure and show a negative result upon arrival. They do not need to undergo mandatory quarantine.

Unlike in neighboring Thailand, there is no requirement for overseas arrivals to have travel insurance that will cover the costs of medical treatment for Covid-19. For now, international tourists must stay in hotels certified under the LaoSafe health and hygiene program. Travelers can look forward to more options for recreational activities, as entertainment venues like pubs and karaoke bars have just been allowed to resume operations.

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