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  • Cambodia Reopening for Int'l Visitors

    Reopening Tourism | Cambodia will avoid Thailand’s Mistakes
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    In percentage terms, the small Cambodian kingdom is as dependent financially on international tourism as Thailand. During the pandemic, both countries have seen dramatic reductions in revenue with Cambodia losing over US$3 Billion in the last year. But Phnom Penh authorities are now considering a careful reopening of international tourism in the last quarter of 2021. Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said that recent Thai moves in the much-heralded Sandboxes provided warnings for his country. He believed the concept was too complicated.

    The main thrust of the Cambodian initiative is to open the 12th century Angkor Wat archaeological site to fully vaccinated foreigners from October 2021. They would be accommodated and relax in the neighboring town of Siem Reap which, like Pattaya, is currently a ghost town because of the collapse of international tourism.

    Superficially, the plan looks rather like the Phuket Sandbox initiative, but there are important differences. Whilst international arrivals in Phuket will need advance clearance from Thai embassies abroad and be subject to insurance and entry fees, Cambodia would allow groups of foreigners simply to land and show their passports and vaccination certificates to immigration authorities. The important thing is to cut the bureaucracy at international checkpoints.

    Siem Reap airport has been redesigned to cope with future crowds.

    The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism said that no final decisions had yet been taken, but the vital thing was to simplify the entry procedures as much as possible. Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Cambodian chapter of the Pacific Area Travel Association, pointed out that Thailand had constantly changed the Sandbox model and some of the Phuket detail still had not been agreed just days before the formal beginning.

    Other ideas currently under discussion in Phnom Penh are abolishing the US$30 fee on arrival which has traditionally been charged to all visitors by land and air, cancelling insurance fees and deposits currently required of entrants, providing evening entertainment in the form of cultural shows and avoiding the wearing of tracing bracelets.

    Cambodia has made more progress than her larger neighbor in moving towards herd immunity. Already 2.3 million Cambodians have received both doses of the vaccine, with 10 million being the target to have received at least one dose by the autumn. Prime minister Hun Sen has said that tourists will feel safer when they know the high levels of vaccination in his country.

    However, according to international travel agencies, there are some doubts about the Cambodian reopening plans. “Cambodia is even more dependent than is Thailand on China for its international market and Beijing authorities have made clear there will be no charter flights this calendar year,” said Robert Markus of South East Asia Travel Group. Other concerns are the absence of information on the serving of alcohol, whether health tests will be obligatory during the vacation and whether independent travellers, as well as tour groups, will be able to take advantage of the pilot scheme.
    Last edited by Licker; 08-18-2021, 06:26 PM.

  • #2
    Cambodia confirms partial reopening to international tourists from November 30. 2021

    The Tourism Ministry in Cambodia has confirmed that the country will reopen partially to vaccinated travellers from the end of next month. The country’s prime minister also reportedly ordered that quarantine be waived for air arrivals from Thailand. The first areas in Cambodia set to reopen to overseas travellers are the popular tourist destinations of Sihanoukville and Koh Rong, as well as the 360-kilometre Chinese-developed Dara Sakor resort area. According to an AFP report, tourists wishing to visit Angkor Wat will have to wait, but not for long. Siem Reap, the northern city and gateway to the world heritage-listed temple complex, will join the list of quarantine-free reopening destinations from January 2022.

    Like Thailand, Cambodia’s tourism sector has been decimated by the pandemic. US$1 billion in tourism revenue was generated last year, compared to US$5 billion in 2019, thanks to the 6.6 million visitors who arrived in the country. 2 million of them visited the famous Angkor Wat complex, which has largely been lying silent and deserted since the arrival of Covid-19. The tourism ministry has outlined some of the requirements to enter Cambodia once the country reopens. Travellers will need to be fully vaccinated, have Covid-19 insurance, and receive negative swab tests before departure from their home country and again on arrival. They will have to spend at least 5 days in the locations participating in the re-opening and undergo a further Covid-19 test before being free to travel around the country. It’s understood that Cambodia’s re-opening has taken some inspiration from the Phuket “Sandbox,” which has now attracted over 56,000 international visitors to the southern Thai island.

    In 2020, Cambodia – like Thailand – got off relatively lightly as Covid-19 wreaked havoc around the world. But, as with Thailand, the worst was yet to come, and Cambodia has reported the majority of its 118,000 infections since April this year. However, unlike Thailand, the country has been praised for its efficient vaccine rollout, with 96% of the population now fully vaccinated.

    Quarantine waived for air arrivals from Thailand

    Cambodian media outlet VOD has reported that Prime Minister Hun Sen instructed the government’s tourism and foreign affairs ministers to allow entry without quarantine during a Council of Ministers meeting held last Friday. The move follows hot on the heels of the Thai government’s decision to open the country’s international borders to 46 countries and territories from November 1, subject to a range of conditions. Cambodia is among the list of “low-risk” countries approved by the Public Health Ministry, with a 3-model approach, encompassing various requirements, having been laid out for the admittance of foreign arrivals.

    VOD reported that in a voice recording shared on a government Telegram group, Hun Sen pointed to a “principle of reciprocity with Thailand”, stating Cambodians will be able to “go to Thailand without quarantining, (so) Thais entering our (country), they do not need to quarantine either”. He added that Cambodia “can begin to reopen flights for passengers from Thailand, including those coming through the country, as we already have a principle of one visa being usable in the two countries”.

    Along with Thailand, Hun Sen said that Cambodia – which currently only has passenger flights arriving from China, Singapore and South Korea – should also reopen flights from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. VOD additionally reported that Tourism Ministry spokesperson Top Sopheak stated Thursday that the ministry is already establishing procedures to welcome back foreign tourists.


    • #3
      Cambodia leads Asia for highest percentage of fully-vaccinated population

      Cambodia is topping the list in Asia for the country with the highest percentage of fully-vaccinated individuals in its population. The country’s 16 million-plus population has seen around 82% receiving at least 2 doses of aCovid-19 vaccine since November 03.2021 according to

      The percentage of those fully-vaccinated has beat out Singapore, Brunei and South Korea by 1%. And, it has beat out Japan and Malaysia by 2%. The same website has said that Thailand and Vietnam had immunised 61% and 60% respectively. Indonesia and Laos were the lowest ranked at 44% each. Globally, Cambodia ranks number 5, which is quite impressive by any means. The UAE, Portugal, Cuba and Chile beat out Cambodia for the top 4 rankings.

      Reuters Coronavirus Tracker, however, says Cambodia’s vaccination rate is even higher than that of Reuters says Cambodia has actually fully-vaccinated 84.4% of its population. Now, as the Kingdom rolls out vaccines to children aged 3 and 4 in the near future, the government’s plan of having 91% of the country fully-inoculated against Covid-19, is well on its way to materialising.

      Around half of the world’s population has now received at least 1 dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, but the situation drastically different in low-income countries. Those countries are reportedly only seeing less than 4% of its total population receiving at least 1 vaccine dose, but Cambodia has remained an exception. As many expect Southeast Asia’s vaccination rates to roughly correlate to its economic development levels, Cambodia has become a leader in vaccine distribution.

      But, its response to the Covid pandemic hasn’t been without harsh criticisms. Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen’s government has been criticised for allegedly using the pandemic as a pretext to pursue political vendettas against government critics. Such actions allegedly include arresting dozens of journalists and opposition party members for criticising the government’s Covid response. And, this past April and May’s lockdowns saw restrictions that cut off food supplies for tens of thousands of garment workers, market vendors, and other citizens that were residents of Covid-19 “red zones.”

      Despite the criticisms, Cambodia is opening up to tourists who are fully-vaccinated in an effort to boost its economy. Those who want to enter the Kingdom and are fully-vaccinated, will have to undergo a 7-day quarantine. And, a 5-day no quarantine scheme is being offered at specific resorts. That scheme is scheduled to start at the end of November, with many business travellers being allowed to quarantine for only 3 days.


      • #4
        Cambodia ends quarantine requirements for vaccinated arrivals from November 15.2021
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        Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable the country to fully reopen and that it mirrored the policies of other countries in the region. He also emphasised that any unvaccinated travellers must still undergo a 14-day quarantine.

        “Cambodia is almost fully vaccinated at nearly 88 per cent of the total population of around 16 million. So, there is no quarantine requirement any longer, except for those who have not been vaccinated who still need to do a 14-day quarantine like before,” he said.
        He said fully vaccinated travellers will only need to take a rapid test and wait for the results at their accommodation. If the results are negative, they can then travel anywhere in Cambodia.


        • #5
          Travel Rules and Conditions for Cambodia
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          • #6
            Public must follow Covid-19 measures during Cambodia’s Water Festival

            The governor of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh is warning the public to abide by Covid-19 prevention measures while travelling and gathering for the Royal Water Festival, known as “Bon Om Touk,” marking the the end of the monsoon season with celebrations and dragon boat races.

            The popular three-day festival, begins today and people throughout the country gather for boat races. The second day of the festival, known as Ok Ambok, involves a lantern lighting ceremony to worship the moon. Governor Khuong Sreng says the public must follow the Ministry of Health’s standards during the celebrations.

            As Cambodia is getting closer to reaching its goal of vaccinating 91% of the population, with more than 88% already vaccinated, the Royal Government is slowly easing restrictions on Covid-19 measurements, by allowing museums, cinemas and theatres to reopen starting from today.

            Although the country did not hold festivities throughout this year, a spokesperson for the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration, stated that the head of the Royal Government is allowing people, government officials, to participate in the Royal Water Festival and boat races.

            Earlier this week, the governor gathered the Unity Command to issue law enforcement forces, and ordered all 14 district authorities to maintain security for the people and strengthen the rules of the Ministry of Health on the occasion of the Royal Water Festival.

            As of today, the kingdom of Cambodia reported 51 new cases of Covid-19 with 5 deaths, making it the least infected rate amongst the ASEAN nations, with a total recorded number of 119,687.


            • #7
              Cambodian Domestic Airlines resume flights

              Since many international visitors have begun to flock into the country, Cambodia has resumed some of its domestic airlines, with Cambodia Angkor Air starting its weekly flights between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville from tomorrow.

              AirAsia also started flying between Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur last week, whilst Vietnam Airlines began flying between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City in early January.

              According to the announcement from the airport,…

              “Vietnam Airlines resumed their flights to Phnom Penh on January 01, 2022, and has scheduled flights four days a week.” Now the airline has added six more flights, for a total of 10 flights a week. According to a spokesperson for the Secretariat of State for Civil Aviation, Sin Chansery Vutha, flight schedules at Cambodia’s three international airports show that there will be about 10 domestic and international airlines operating in Cambodia, with some airlines flying 3 to 4 times per week by the end of this month.

              He also added that the resumptions were a positive indication for Cambodia’s aviation sector as it would progressively increase the number of flights and eventually return to normalcy.


              • #8
                Cambodia reduces quarantine for unvaccinated visitors from 2 weeks to 1 week

                Starting today, visitors to Cambodia who are not fully vaccinated will only have to quarantine for one week, and not two. Cambodia’s health ministry said air travelers not fully vaccinated must take antigen tests on their last day of quarantine. The country has eased Covid-19 restrictions in the past month, and officially stopped requiring Covid-19 tests upon entry for vaccinated travellesr last month. Visas on arrival were also restored last month.

                Like many of its neighbours, Cambodia’s tourism income plummeted following the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020. That year, the number of tourist arrivals dropped to 1.3 million from 6.6 million in 2019. The country’s tourism revenue subsequently dropped from US$5.31 billion to $US1.12 billion.

                Cambodia has taken strong measures to fight Covid-19, and was one of the first countries to give children under five years old vaccines. Other countries vaccinating children under five include China, Bahrain, and Cuba. China and Bahrain started targeting kids between three and 11 years old last year, while Cuba started vaccinating children as young as two.

                About 92 per cent of Cambodia’s almost 17 million people have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. Today, Cambodia reported 29 new Covid-19 cases, making its total number of reported cases since the pandemic broke out 136,146. There have been 3,056 Covid-19 related deaths reported.

                While air travelers to Cambodia who are not fully vaccinated must take antigen tests on their last day of quarantine, those arriving by land must take them both on arrival, and on the last day of quarantine.