VIENTIANE, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- The local, traditional and international border checkpoints in Laos will remain closed to ward off a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Lao Prime Minister's Office.
Lao Deputy Minister of Health Phouthone Meaungpak told a news briefing on Thursday that the Lao authorities and people countrywide should remain vigilant, and it is important that every person strictly abide by the new normal guidelines and rules laid down by the government.
International checkpoints will remain closed for travels except for the necessary crossings by Lao and foreign nationals approved by the task force committee. The transport of goods via international checkpoints is allowed as usual.
Traditional and local border checkpoints will also be closed with the exception for government approved goods transport.
The Lao government continues to suspend the issuing of tourist visas for anyone travelling from or transiting via countries where a COVID-19 outbreak is taking place.
Foreign diplomats, the staff of international organizations, experts, business people and workers deemed essential for projects in Laos could enter the country with approval by the task force committee.
The Lao government has also decided to keep entertainment venues such as karaoke bars closed.
The new notice issued by the Prime Minister's Office is effective from Thursday until Oct. 31.
As of Thursday, Laos has tested 53,513 suspected cases with 23 cases found to be positive, and 22 patients have recovered.
Laos announced its first two confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 24.