VIENTIANE, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Lao government on Monday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown for another 15 days to help curb COVID-19 infections.
Deputy Head of the Prime Minister's Office, Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, told a press conference here on Monday that the situation in neighboring countries remained risky and a large number of migrant workers return home to Laos every day, therefore, the lockdown order will be extended to control the spread of COVID-19.
Thipphakone said that the lockdown order will be extended until August 3.
The notice outlines a gradual loosening of lockdown measures with certain strict measures to remain in place.
Indoor and outdoor fitness centers and stadiums in provinces without community spread are now authorized to reopen, but must comply with all COVID-19 prevention measures.
Massage parlors and spas may reopen in provinces without community spread. However, patrons and service providers must be fully vaccinated with two doses COVID-19 vaccine.
Vocational education, teacher training and the final year of study for all educational institutions in Lao capital Vientiane may resume. COVID-19 prevention measures must be strictly followed.
The current nationwide lockdown, imposed on July 4, was set to expire on Monday.
As of Monday, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded in Laos is 3,540, with 2,311 recoveries.
Laos confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases on March 24 last year.