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Virus-free Laos lifts shutters on shops and restaurants

State slowly reopens economy while vigilant against new cases

A Buddhist monks walks past a temple in Vientiane.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- The government of Laos said it will allow restaurants and shopping centers to reopen starting Monday as the country eases its lockdown after reporting no novel coronavirus infections for 19 consecutive days.

Friday's notice came with caveats: people stepping outside must wear face masks and maintain a social distance of one meter, while travel across provincial borders remains forbidden.

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