VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): Vientiane's Northern Bus Station has closed again after a failed attempt to run bus services because most passengers had not had two doses of Covid-19 vaccine at least a month prior to travel.
Bus station director Chithpasong Luangdethmixay told Vientiane Times that the station would continue to suspend services until June 19, when it is expected that the government will ease more of the restrictions imposed under lockdown measures.
Most people wanting to travel on buses have homes in the provinces but have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Director of Lao Airlines' Commercial Department, Noudeng Chanthaphasouk, told Vientiane Times the airline had planned to resume domestic flights this week but had also had to cancel the plan because most passengers had not had two doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, the Southern Bus Station announced on June 5 that bus services would resume but revoked the statement later that day, saying that most people who turned up to catch buses had not had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Bus station authorities say buses will not run until more of the lockdown restrictions are lifted and passengers can comply with the rules.
The government recently authorised road and air travel between Vientiane and the provinces but only for passengers who have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine at least one month prior to travel. Passengers no longer need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
This means individuals and commercial traffic can now travel freely, except in areas of the country where there are ongoing virus outbreaks.
The government has authorised passenger transport by road between provinces where there is no outbreak of the virus and quarantine is no longer required.
Drivers of transport trucks and their assistants may now drive to their destination province without having to unload goods and change trucks as before. They are also not required to be tested for Covid-19 or spend 14 days in quarantine.
Although some restrictions have been lifted, everyone is required to continue to comply with basic Covid-19 prevention and control measures, including social distancing of one metre, temperature checks, wearing of face masks and regular handwashing.
Only two cases of Covid-19 were reported in Laos on Tuesday, both in Vientiane. The cases were identified during the testing of 1, 845 samples in the previous 24 hours. – Vientiane Times/Asia News Network
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