The waltz continues to reverberate across the border in Southeast Asia

The capital of Laos, Vientiane, has been available to the French since January 1, 2022 (Image: LC)

We know in general the reluctance of Asian countries to address health risks. The omicron variant is wreaking havoc on a few of the country reopenings that took place in the last quarter of 2021. With the notable exception of Laos, which again allows foreign visitors.

Laos opens after 22 months of closing

The good news comes from Laos. It is possible because The country just opened its first railway – moreover at high speed – with china, The authorities reopened their borders to foreign visitors. The government of this small country surrounded by its powerful Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese neighbors presented a three-stage inaugural plan.

The first phase, implemented on January 1, allows citizens of 30 countries (including France, Belgium and Switzerland) to travel to “green for tourism” areas.. These include the capital Vientiane, the large cities of Pax and Savannakhet, as well as the historical capital of Luang Prabang.

Other governorates and nationalities will follow in a second phase in April and a third in July. Single Visitors who have been fully vaccinated can enter the territory of Laos. They need to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours and have insurance coverage of up to $50,000.

Indonesia is closed
Hopes dashed on the French wishing to travel to Jakarta (Image: LC)

Lockdown in Indonesia for French citizens

On the other hand, It becomes more difficult for travelers who want to travel to Indonesia. The massive archipelago has reopened islands Bali and the girls (versus singapore) For international travelers at the end of October. Faced with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the world, the country has gradually tightened restrictions with the passage of quarantine from 3 to 5 days and currently 7 days.

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Since January 7, the Indonesian authorities have implemented a total ban on all travelers from France. This is of course due to the increase in positive cases due to the omicron variable. France thus joins several African countries in addition to Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom. There are exceptions For travelers benefiting from the dubbing of an official body (Ministry) or travelers in an official delegation. However, they will have to self-isolate for 10 days, which is a somewhat deterrent protocol.. The measure is temporary but no possibility of review has been given…

Phuket still welcomes visitors to Thailand
Phuket as well as Samui, Krabi and Phang Nga still welcome foreign visitors without strict quarantine (Photo: Blue Elephant Restaurant in Phuket/LC)

Thailand between two fires

and there Thailand, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism (20% of GDP before the crisis). However, the country decided to suspend the “Test & Go” program at the end of December. Blame the omicron variable. This program allowed immunized travelers to enter the country after PCR testing and a night of quarantine.

On January 7, the Thai government confirmed the continuation of this measure in the face of the spread of the alternative in the Kingdom. Week to week, the number of daily positive cases in the country rose from 3,000 to 7,500 on Friday, January 7. Therefore, the mandatory 7-day quarantine for anyone who has been vaccinated remains in effect until further notice. Two PCR tests will be done during quarantine in an approved hotel room. The latter must be paid in advance in addition to the two exams.

On the other hand, Travelers enjoy greater freedom of movement with a seven-day stay on the island of Phuket with Sandbox (“Sandbox”). Once this island stay is completed, travelers can reach another destination. The “Sandbox” program extends from January 11 to the provinces of Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani. (Only for the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao). They are all located in the south of the kingdom.

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