The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 164 million confirmed cases and over 3.4 million deaths around the globe since 16 January 2020. The outbreak has caused unprecedented impacts on human mobility, leaving migrants and mobile populations among the most vulnerable.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic has been faced with a second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in April 2021. The increase in cases started in mid-April where communities carried out celebration and cultural activities for Lao Pi Mai and Thai Songkran.
Irregular crossings near the Lao-Thai borders led to the import of undetected cases, which sparked off community transmission across provinces. The number of cases in country has risen from less than 100 to over 1,000 in two weeks. According to PMO 15/ PM on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, a nation-wide lockdown is in place from 21 April until 20 May. Citizens are prohibited to leave their homes except for essential purposes and tasks authorized by the government.
International, local and traditional Points of Entry (PoEs) nation-wide remain closed, except for designated PoEs that are approved to open for logistics purposes. Lao migrant workers and nationals are allowed to return via international PoEs and there will be no penalty for returnees with irregular status if they return through official PoEs.
Since 27 January, the country’s COVID-19 vaccines has been rolled out to priority groups and the general population. As of 19 May, over 553,000 people have received the first dose of vaccine against COVID-19, while over 95,000 people have been fully vaccinated with two doses.