VIENTIANE, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has assigned Lao Ministry of Health to conduct tests and issue medical certificates for travelers who need to exit Laos.

The taskforce committee has announced that only technical experts, diplomats and students will be allowed to travel overseas, but they must have appropriate travel documents and authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They must also comply with the rules of other countries regarding the COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

The reason for travelers exiting Laos obtaining a medical certificate was to avoid the spread of COVID-19, local daily Vientiane Times on Tuesday quoted Phonepadith Xangsayarath, director general of the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology under the Lao Ministry of Health, as saying.

Technical experts and diplomats to Laos wanting medical certificates for COVID-19 must obtain an official letter from their particular embassy. They need to report on the specific objectives and the details of the travel to the committee. Anyone without a valid medical certificate will be denied entry to many countries.

There will be multiple health checkpoints, and travelers will be required to produce medical documents from their country of origin.

"The medical certificate should certify that the traveler does not display any COVID-like symptoms and is COVID-negative. This preventive measure will go a long way in stopping the spread of the virus," Phonepadith said.

However, people with flu-like symptoms, coughs, sore throats, or respiratory problems or anyone with a history of contact with a high-risk group, will be prohibited from obtaining a medical certificate.

Patients who need hospital treatment overseas will be allowed to exit Laos but still have to comply with the entry requirements of the destination country.

Laos will keep its borders closed to foreign nationals to curb the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, everyone is required to abide by the government guidelines to ensure effective control of the coronavirus and prevent its spread, according to the taskforce committee.