Cambodian authorities introduced stricter coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions on Sunday, November 8, following recent COVID-19 confirmed cases. With immediate effect, all karaoke bars, nightclubs, cinemas, and museums across the country have been ordered to close. Both state and private schools in Phnom Penh and Kandal province will be closed for on-site learning for two weeks until November 22. Additionally, authorities have halted all sports activities at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh temporarily, until further notice.
In the statement issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday, it was confirmed that a national or local state of emergency would not be declared, and people would not be barred from travel; however, people remain urged to observe Health Ministry guidelines, including wearing face masks and observing social distancing regulations.
Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines remain indefinitely suspended. Most land border checkpoints remain closed, through cross-border travel with Vietnam for non-tourism purposes has resumed with health protocols in place. Tourist visas remain suspended. Foreign travelers are required to provide a visa from a diplomatic mission, a certificate obtained no more than 72 hours prior to arrival confirming that they do not have COVID-19, in addition to proof of healthcare insurance of up to USD 50,000 when arriving into Cambodia. Individuals arriving will also be quarantined for 14 days on arrival at a government facility where they will be tested for the virus. Those who test negative on arrival are permitted to self-isolate at their accommodation for two weeks. On arrival, all foreign passengers are also required to deposit USD 3000 at the airport for mandatory COVID-19 testing and potential treatment services. Passengers will be required to cover costs. Foreign business travel has been allowed in some cases with quarantine exemptions, though travelers remain required to quarantine in designated sites whilst waiting for COVID-19 results taken upon arrival. Diplomatic and official visa holders are required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 results, taken 72 hours prior to travel, and will also be required to undergo further testing on arrival.
As of Tuesday, November 10, there have been 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with no associated fatalities in Cambodia. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.