Laos to Reopen for Tourists from January 2022

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The government of Laos has confirmed that borders will reopen to some foreign tourists from January 2022. There will be special conditions in place for international visitors.
Fully vaccinated visitors from specific countries will be allowed to enter during the initial phase. The country will open to tourists from other countries in the following months.

Laos Borders to Reopen in 3 Phases

Laos will start welcoming back foreign tourists from January 1, 2022. The reopening will be gradual and take place over 3 phases throughout 2022.
Timeline for Laos reopening:

Phase 1— January 1 to March 30, 2022
Phase 2—April 1 to June 30, 2022
Phase 3— July 1, 2022, onwards
More countries of origin and destinations will be added at each phase.

Tourists Who Can Enter Laos from January 2022

Travelers from 17 countries will be able to visit Laos from January 1, 2022.
Most nations included in the first phase are in Southeast Asia and Europe, as well as Australia, Canada, China, and the USA.
The complete list of countries include in the first phase of reopening:

  • Australia
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • The Netherlands
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Passengers arriving from these countries must meet Laos visa requirements and all the special COVID-19 measures.

Green Travel Zones in Laos

Tourists in Laos will be able to visit Green Travel Zones and Green Travel Trails in Laos.
Green Travel Zones are provinces that have already reached a vaccination rate of at least 70% amongst the adult population.
Green Travel Zones during the first phase are:

  • Luang Prabang
  • Vientiane Capital
  • Vang Vieng

Green Travel Trails are yet to reach this vaccination rate. During the first phase of reopening these are Oudomxay, Xayaboury, Xieng Khouang, Khammouane, and Champasak.
Green Travel Trails are expected to become Green Travel Zones from April 2022.
People living in green travel areas of Laos are now being offered the COVID-19 booster jab.

Conditions for Tourists Traveling to Laos from January

Foreign visitors must meet COVID-19 health and safety requirements to travel to Laos from January 2022.
Condition 1: Tourists must be fully vaccinated

Foreigners will only be allowed to enter the country with proof of full vaccination. The vaccine certificate should be uploaded to the LaoStaySafe mobile application.
All required doses of an approved vaccine must have been received a minimum of 14 days before arrival in Laos.
Condition 2: Tourists must have a COVID-19 test before departure

All international arrivals are required to have a PCR test for COVID-19 before traveling to Laos. The test must be carried out no more than 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point.
The negative test result should be uploaded to the LaoStaySafe mobile application.
Condition 3: Travelers will have a COVID-19 test on arrival

Travelers will be tested for COVID-19 on arrival and must quarantine for 24 hours until they have received a negative test result.
Condition 4: Visitors must be on a pre-booked tour

During the initial phases, foreign visitors must be booked on a tour in Laos. Tour companies must be registered with the Laos National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI).
The tours will take place in the designated Green Travel Zones.
Condition 5: Tourists need to take out medical insurance

Visitors are required to take out medical insurance with coverage of at least USD 50,000.
Foreigners also need to meet standard entry requirements. Travelers from several of the approved countries will need to apply for a visa for Laos.

Laos International Borders Open from January

Two international borders will be open to travelers during the first phase of reopening:

  • Wattay International Airport (VTE)
  • The First Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge

Additional borders will open in phase 2, including Luang Prabang International Airport, The Second Friendship Bridge in Savannakhet, the Third Friendship Bridge in Thakhek, and the Lao border with Vietnam in Savannakhet.

Laos Tourism Industry Health and Safety Measures

Through the LaoSafe scheme, the government is setting health and hygiene standards for businesses operating in the tourism sector.
Accommodation providers, restaurants, tourist attractions, and tour guides must have the LaoSafe certification.
At least 95% of staff working in tourism establishments, such as hotels and restaurants, will be fully vaccinated.
Laos travel restrictions are subject to change at short notice: the current measures will be kept under close review during the initial stages of reopening.

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