Laos prepares to welcome foreign tourists back hinh anh 1A deserted street in Luang Prabang, Laos due to COVID-19 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – The Lao government is urgently rolling out COVID-19 preventive measures as the country is to welcome foreign tourists again starting January 1, 2022.

The Wattay international airport has been ready to welcome the first foreign visitors after a long time of border closure triggered by the ongoing pandemic.

Many localities in the COVID-19-free zones also stand ready for the work.

Tourists from 17 countries, including Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, are eligible to enter Laos with travel visa if they are fully vaccinated. They will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.

Laos reported 1,006 new COVID-19 infections across 18 localities and 12 deaths in the past 24 hours, announced the Ministry of Health on December 31.

Vientiane continued to see the highest daily caseload with 394 cases in the community.

Laos has to date logged a total of 111,060 COVID-19 cases, and a death toll of 372./.