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Laos

Overview

Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Please refer to the MOH COVID-19 website for updates on the latest precautionary measures implemented to further reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. These include travel advisories and further restrictions on travellers coming into Singapore. 

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COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Lao government has closed its national borders and international checkpoints, although inter-provincial travel is now allowed. Chartered flights between Vientiane and Incheon, as well as Vientiane and Kunming have been suspended in August 2020.

No foreigners, including Singaporeans, are currently allowed into Laos except diplomatic and official passports holders, as well as expert and technical visa, and other foreign labour visas that are crucial for major projects. These individuals allowed to enter must possess a valid entry visa, and provide a medical certificate certifying that he/she is not tested positive for COVID-19 not longer than 72 hours prior to departure.

Upon arrival in Laos, all persons, including those in the exempted categories, are subject to COVID-19 testing and must serve a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated hotel or quarantine centre. Only Lao nationals returning from countries that have been COVID-free for at least a month can serve their quarantine at home. The cost of COVID-19 testing at the airport will be borne by the Lao government. However, foreigners will have to bear their own medical expenses should they test positive for COVID-19.

Foreigners who wish to leave Laos have to submit an application through their embassy. More information on entry and exit requirements to Laos is available at: http://www.mofa.gov.la/index.php/statements/notices/3723-procedural-advisory-on-documentation-and-steps-required-for-seeking-authorization-for-entry-and-exit-of-the-lao-pdr-during-the-implementation-of-measures-to-prevent,-control-and-respond-to-the-covid-19-pandemic,-dated-on-31-july-2020

As the COVID-19 situation is developing, Singaporeans are advised to closely monitor the news and official announcements by both the Singaporean and Lao governments.

Singaporeans who require consular assistance may also contact the Singapore Embassy in Vientiane at the contact number provided below. Singaporeans already in Laos, be it for long-term or short-term stays, are strongly encouraged to e-register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that they can be contacted should the need arise. They should closely follow the Singapore Embassy in Vientiane’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SingaporeEmbassyVientiane) to receive the latest consular‑related news and updates.

Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Laos

Address: Ban Watnak, Unit 4 Thadeua Road, Km3, Sisattanak District, Vientiane Capital, Laos

Tel: +856-21-353-939,

Emergency Tel (after hours): +856-20-5559-9059

Email: singemb_vte@mfa.sg

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hour)

Tanglin, Singapore 248163

Tel: +65 6379 8800; +65 6379 8855

Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

 

Embassy of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in Singapore

Address: 51 Goldhill Plaza #13-04/05

Singapore 308900

Tel: 6250 6044 / 6250 6741

Email: laoembsg@singnet.com.sglaoembsg@gmail.com

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Entry to Laos via Cars/Motorcycle

Visitors should apply for a temporary import permit via the Laos Embassy in Singapore. Please contact the Laos Embassy in Singapore for the application process. Visitors may also contact the Singapore Embassy in Vientiane should you require further assistance.

Please take note that motor insurance is compulsory when entering Laos. If your insurance provider does not cover Laos, you can consider purchasing insurance from local providers such as AGL Laos, Lao-Viet Insurance or Toko Assurance.

Contact details of the Laos Embassy in Singapore:

Embassy of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in Singapore 

Address: 51 Goldhill Plaza #13-04/05

Singapore 308900

Tel: 6250 6044 / 6250 6741

Email: laoembsg@singnet.com.sglaoembsg@gmail.com

 

 

Loss of Passport 

The Embassy provides assistance to Singaporeans who lost or had their passports stolen while visiting the Lao PDR.

Please call the Embassy’s Consular Section at Tel: +856 (21) 353939 during office hours to report the loss.  After office hours, please call our Duty Officer at +856 (20) 55599059 if assistance is required.

Singaporeans should need to do the following:

1. Request for "Certificate of Stay" from the hotel to confirm the period of stay in Vientiane/province (only in Lao);

2. Make a "Loss Report" at the Public Security District Office.  Please prepare 4 photographs of size 3x4cm and need to pay LAK100,000 (~S$16).

3. Apply for "Certificate of Loss" at Immigration Department, General Department of Public Security.  Please prepare 2 photographs of size 3x4cm.

The address of the Immigration Department:
 
Immigration Department 
Hatsady Village, Talatsao Road 
Chanthabouly District, Vientiane 
Tel: +856 30 5092538 

4. Visit the Singapore Embassy’s Consular Section to apply for a "Document of Identity" (temporary travel document); with the copy of police report, photograph and documentary proof of your citizenship and your identity – preferably with your photograph on it, eg. Identity Card.  Have your flight details to Singapore and 2 passport-sized photographs ready. Instant photographs are acceptable and it will cost USD11.00 for the DOI.

5. Apply for “Exit Visa” with the Lao MOFA-Consular Department which would take average of three working day.

The address of Lao MOFA-Consular Department:  
 
Consular Department 
Sibounheuang Village, Sibounheuang Road
Chanthabouly District, Vientiane 
Visa Section: Tel: +856 21 254173

Important Notes:

The "Document of Identity" is for one-way travel to Singapore only, and needs to be surrendered to the Immigration Officer upon return.  A new passport needs to be applied at ICA for replacement.

The passport which was reported lost would be cancelled with immediate effect and cannot be used for travel even if it is recovered subsequently. Should you recover your lost passport, you must surrender it to ICA or the Embassy personally within 14 days. 

 


Singaporeans visiting Laos are reminded to remain vigilant and take precautions against petty crimes, including pickpocketing and snatch theft. Visitors should also exercise caution when considering off-road wilderness travel in rural areas due to the risk of unexploded ordnance.  

There were past incidents of shootings and roadside attacks along Road 13, between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang, as well as in Xaysomboun Province. Travelers who are thinking of driving along these routes should exercise caution. 

Lao roads, especially in rural and mountainous areas, are narrow, poorly lit and not well maintained.  Often, buses and lorries encroach into traffic in the oncoming lane around a blind corner. Travellers should take care when driving or riding in such areas and avoid travelling after dark.  Roads and bridges can become blocked by landslides or flash floods during the rainy season.  Travellers should avoid travelling long distances by road during the rainy season.

 

Possession, trafficking and manufacture of drugs are serious offences. Offenders face lengthy prison sentences or the death penalty.

The Lao government prohibits sexual relationships between foreign and Lao nationals, except when the two parties have been married in accordance with Lao family law. It is thus an offence for foreigners, regardless of male or female, to spend the night (or day) with a local in the same room. Permission for marriage or engagement to a Lao national must be submitted in a formal application to the Lao authorities.

Photographing or trespassing into military-controlled areas are prohibited and will result in arrest or detention.  The operation of drones is regulated by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (Department of Frequency Management) and Ministry of Public Works and Transport (Department of Civil Aviation). Visitors who wish to operate drones would have to seek approval from the relevant authorities before doing so. Drones are not allowed to be operated near sensitive areas such as military, police, government and party establishments, as well as certain heritage sites and temples.

Foreigners are not allowed to bring in/out more than US$12, 000 worth of cash. Due to the government’s policy to promote the Lao currency, commercial banks are not allowed to sell USD and would only sell the local currency. Visitors can either exchange for the local currency at commercial banks or private money exchange outlets.

Antiques, including old Buddha statues, are not allowed to be brought out of Laos. It is also illegal to bring endangered wildlife into/out of Laos. Failure to comply with the above will result in arrest.

When visiting temples and religious sites, wear appropriate clothing and be respectful to the Lao culture.  For example, shorts, scruffy clothing, mini-skirts and low cut blouses or dresses should not be worn in temples.

The quality of medical care is not good in Laos – even in major cities like Vientiane and Luang Prabang.  If you have an accident in a remote area, or even along a major road in the provinces, you could face long delays before being evacuated to a hospital.  Travellers should have travel, medical and accident insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation to a third country.

 

There have been history of outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) in Laos. The risk of transmission to human is very low, but as a precaution visitors should avoid contact with live poultry and make sure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.  

 

Dengue fever/malaria risk is present in Laos. Anti-Malaria tablets are recommended if visiting provinces south of Vientiane.  Visitors are advised to take precautions against mosquito bites, especially if travelling to rural areas.

 

Visitors are also recommended to seek medical advice on the required vaccinations before visiting Laos.

 

The rainy season in Laos occurs from May to November. During this period, mountainous areas are vulnerable to landslides and flooding may occur in parts of Laos.

 

Local Emergency Contacts

 

Embassy of the Republic of Singapore

Ban Watnak, Unit 4, Thadeua Road, Km 3

Sisattanak District, Vientiane Capital       

Tel: +856 21 353 939

Fax: +856 21 353 938

 

Embassy Duty Officer

HP: +856 20 5559 9059

 

Lao Government Authorities/Enforcement Agencies Contact Details

 

Lao MFA Consular Department (24 hours)

DID: 254176; 254173

Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge (Immigration Duty Office)

Duty Office: +856 21 812040

Note: Bridge can be opened for medical emergencies from 10.00pm to 6.00 am by using local hospitals’ ambulance only.

Local Police

DID: 1191

Local Fire Brigade

DID: 1190 or +856 (20) 212 707

Luang Prabang Tourist Police

+856 (71) 254568

 

Medical Emergencies – Contact Details of Hospitals/Medical Centres

 

Vientiane Capital

Local Ambulance

DID: 1195

Mittaphab (Friendship) Hospital

+856 (21) 561314 (Emergencies)

 

+856 (21) 710 006; 710443; 711051

Sethatthirath Hospital Vientiane

+856 (21) 330445

+856 (21) 330374 (for Emergencies and Ambulance Service)

Mahosot Hospital International Clinic

+856 (21) 214022; +856 (21) 214024; +856 (21) 212773; +856 (21) 214025

Alliance International Medical Centre

+856 (20) 5552 9711

+856 (20) 5461 3492

Vientiane Rescue

1623

+856 (20) 5666 8825

Mother and Child Hospital

+856 (21) 617041

+856 (21) 617007

109 Hospital

+856 (21) 970499 (Emergency Division)

103 Hospital

+856 (21) 951164 (Emergency Division)

French Embassy Clinic

+856 (21) 214150

24 hours on call : +856 (20) 5655 4794

Australian Embassy Clinic

+856 (21) 353840

Luang Prabang Province

Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital

+856 (30) 5715738

 


Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]

In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.

In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities. 

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

·  Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.

·  Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.

·  Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.

·  eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

 

While travelling

·  Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.

·  Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.

·  Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.

·  Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.

In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]

There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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