Vietnam-Laos border reopens post pandemic

By Hoang Tao, Nguyen Hai   May 10, 2022 | 04:00 am PT
Vietnam-Laos border reopens post pandemic
Vietnamese people complete procedures to enter Laos at Nam Can border gate in Nghe An Province, May 9, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Linh
Border gates along the Vietnam-Laos boundary have resumed operation now that the Covid-19 pandemic has eased in both countries.

On Monday morning, drivers only needed to prove they had received two vaccine doses to pass through the Lao Bao border gate in Huong Hoa District of Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam.

The same rule is applied for any other travelers seeking to cross the border.

The Vietnam-Laos border runs 2,161 kilometers (1,342 miles) across 10 provinces in the northern and central parts of Vietnam. Vietnamese businesses usually trade goods with vendors in Laos.

Previously, it was regulated that all vehicles must switch drivers to avoid Covid-19 spread. Under the protocol, after the vehicles reach the border gate, they would move to a specific area for a driver-switching procedure wherein the first driver stays back in Laos and the second takes care of the journey.

Normal operation has also been resumed at La Lay border gate in Quang Tri and Nam Can border gate in Nghe An Province.

On Monday morning, border guards in Nghe An completed procedures for more than 30 people, with Vietnamese entering Laos to work and Laotians coming to Vietnam for studying, apart from five trucks carrying goods from Vietnam to Laos.

The Lao government on May 7 announced a full reopening of all international checkpoints, allowing vaccinated arrivals to enter the country without any testing requirements.

Fully vaccinated foreigners or Lao citizens carrying a vaccination certificate may enter Laos without any screening or testing for Covid-19 when arriving by land, air, or water.

Non-vaccinated citizens of Laos, foreign citizens and residents aged 12 years and over must take a rapid test at least 48 hours prior to departure and present the results upon arrival.

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