COVID-19: Information to Swiss citizens travelling or currently residing in Lao PDR
The Embassy of Switzerland in Bangkok is responsible for Swiss citizens in Lao PDR. Please address your questions or/and requests to the Swiss Embassy in Bangkok: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Federal Office of Public Health FOPH is recommending that unnecessary travel abroad be avoided for the time being except for a few countries (details here: Link, only in French, German and Italian)
Commercial flights out of Vientiane
There are very few commercial flights connections from Vientiane to Europe at the moment. Flights to South Korea and Malaysia are announced on a case by case basis, and are for now the easiest way to travel to Europe. If you hear of a flight, please double check with the airline company since we heard that many online travel agent websites are not updated with the latest restrictions.
Travel Admin App: Sign up! If you are currently travelling in Laos as a tourist or on business (not for permanent residents), please register on the Swiss Travel Admin App so that the relevant Swiss Embassy can contact you if necessary. Please make sure that the dates of your trip are up to date. Once you have returned to Switzerland, please delete your trip from the application.
Entry into Laos and visa extensions
Visas to enter Lao PDR are only possible for certain individuals and under certain conditions. If there is an urgent need to bring in Lao PDR, experts, foreign workers, technicians or foreign students, a formal request must be addressed to the competent Laotian authorities. For diplomats, the request must be addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Every entrance must be accepted by the Government of Lao PDR.
Visas for all other foreign nationals are currently suspended until further notice. It is thus not possible for tourists to enter the country.
To enter Lao PDR, foreigners must have the following documents:
- Valid entry visa
- A negative test for COVID-19 certification using RT-PCR from a trustworthy medical institution of no more than 72 hours before departure to Lao PDR.
- Approval letter by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR
- Approval letter by the Ministry of Health (COVID-19 Task Force) of Lao PDR
Upon arrival at the airport, all individuals must go through a body temperature check, complete a health declaration form, and present the proof of negative COVID-19 test to the immigration authorities.
Furthermore, all individuals will have to take a COVID-19 test at the airport upon arrival.
Any individual found to have fever or suspicious symptoms of COVID-19, will be directly sent to designated hospitals for quarantine and COVID-19 testing.
All individuals, including diplomats, who entered Lao PDR will be subject to a strict 14-day quarantine at a hotel or center designated by the Laotian authorities.
More detailed information is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos.
Leaving Lao PDR
All foreign nationals who want to exit the Lao PDR, need to be announced to the Laotian authorities via their respective Embassy. Therefore, Swiss citizens or foreign residents in Switzerland are requested to inform the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangkok email@example.com minimum 14 days before departure. The Embassy will then inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in writing.
For those who wish to extend their temporary stay-permit, he/she can do so directly at the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Public Security or at the Provincial Public Security Headquarters across country:
- For those who have already extended their Stay Permit for a second time, but cannot travel out of Lao PDR due to COVID-19 pandemic, he/she can request for further extension of their Stay Permit;
- For those who traveled to Lao PDR under the visa exemption agreement and who could not travel out of Lao PDR on time due to COVID-19 pandemic, he/she can also request for further extension of their Stay Permit.
Entry into Switzerland
Please visit this page: Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland
Situation in Laos: lockdown and travel ban
Since April 2021, a new COVID-19 outbreak has started in Vientiane capital city, before spreading to the rest of the country. Several measures are imposed by the national and local authorities depending on the evolution of the situation, including lockdown measures and travel bans.
Actively inform yourself about the instructions of the Government and the local media regarding the regularly changing restriction measures.
Remember that we are all guests in Laos. Please comply strictly with the instructions of the Laotian authorities.
The vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in Lao PDR has started in the end of January 2021. Vaccination for foreigners is possible since April 1st 2021. Individual interested can contact any of the provincial, district or other stations indicated by the Lao Government. More information is available on the website of the Ministry of Public Health.
Useful links regarding the COVID19 situation
- Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) for the current situation and measures taken in Switzerland.
- FOPH’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the new coronavirus
- Lao authorities: Lao PDR Ministry of Health, COVID-19 phone number: 020 54066777
- WHO, HQ: World Health Organization, WHO
- WHO representation in Lao PDR: WHO COVID-19 Situation Reports
- English newspaper: https://laotiantimes.com and https://www.vientianetimes.org.la
- International Air Transport Association, IATA
- Infoline Coronavirus: +41 58 463 00 00