Cambodia Maintains Mandatory Quarantine for Un-vaxxed Travelers

The country cannot abolish the remaining measures for the sake of anti-vax groups’ money: PM

PHNOM PENH – There is no exemption of quarantine for unvaccinated travelers entering Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen said, turning down a request from the Ministry of Tourism to lift the mandatory seven-day quarantine for un-vaxxed tourists as a way to boost the tourism sector.

“We are pushing people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. If we lift the mandatory quarantine for unvaccinated travelers, people might think that being vaccinated is not important, so they won’t be willing to get [booster shots] later on,” Hun Sen said on May 17, during a meeting with more than 800 doctors of Samdech Techo Volunteer Youth Doctor Association (TYDA).

The prime minister said the request to lift the mandatory quarantine for unvaccinated travelers was made by Minister of Tourism Thong Khon. Easing the travel restrictions would help the tourism sector recover from the aftermath of the pandemic, while neighboring countries have also abandoned most of their entry requirements. For instance, since May 15, it is no longer required to do a COVID-19 test prior to entering Vietnam, while the country already lifted mandatory quarantine for all travelers–including the unvaccinated ones–in March 2022.

On the contrary, Hun Sen said that canceling the quarantine for unvaccinated people would push anti-vax groups to flock to the Kingdom.

“The country has already withdrawn the need for showing the COVID-19 negative certification for 72 hours prior to arrival. We cannot abolish another measure for the sake of money from those groups,” Hun Sen said. “We can’t [take such a measure] exclusively to support the tourism sector's recovery.”

For almost ten days, Cambodia has not detected a single case of COVID-19 infections. Hun Sen said it is the consequence of the efforts and the good preparedness of the Cambodian government to combat this global pandemic.

He went on to indicate that the country received a total of more than 52 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and consumed nearly 43 million doses. Cambodia now has nearly 10 million doses of vaccine in stock.

Up to 28.5 million doses have been bought by the Cambodian government, while the rest has been given by other countries or through the COVAX facility. More than 20 million doses of vaccines have yet to be shipped to Cambodia, he added.

In November 2021, the Cambodian government announced that visitors would no longer be required to undergo mandatory quarantine. People with evidence of vaccination who tested negative before departure and tested negative upon arrival would be allowed to immediately get on their way. But those who had not been vaccinated would still have to do a 14-day quarantine.

On March 17, 2022, Cambodia stopped require a negative COVID-19 certificate obtained 72 hours before arrival. On April 21, the Health Ministry of Cambodia decided to reduce the quarantine period from 14 to seven days for travelers who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

People traveling by air must take a rapid test on the last day of their quarantine, while those who come by land are required to take one test on arrival and another one on the last day of quarantine.


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