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Laos looks to new year reopening

Laos will be reopening its borders after more than 18 months.

Laos has confirmed that it will be partially reopening from the new year.

The country has been closed to international visitors for more than 18 months and it’s hoped that the plans will boost its beleaguered tourism industry.

Under the new entry regulations, which kick-in on January 1, 2022, fully vaccinated visitors from selected destinations with pre-booked tours will be able to visit the ‘Green Travel Zones’ of Vientiane, Vang Veng and Luang Prabang.

It’s expected that further destinations will open up in April and July as provinces’ vaccination rates increase to meet the 70% adult vaccination target.

The 17 lucky countries on the initial ‘green list’ include Australia, Cambodia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom in Europe and Canada and the United States.

Travellers must have proof of full vaccination, show health insurance cover of no less than US$50,000 and a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of entry. A further arrivals test will be required and travellers must isolate for 24 hours in their hotel until the result is returned. Travellers must also download LaoKYC and LaoStaySafe contact tracing apps and upload their vaccination certificates and test results before arrival.

Laos recently opened a $6 billion railway connecting it with Kunming in China and authorities are now racing to deliver boosters to those that live in tourist hot spots along the train line.

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