Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Cambodia continues to enforce COVID-19 controls as of July 24 amid the easing of some measures. Travel restrictions remain in place.

  • Alert Begins: 24 Jul 2020 09:28 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 24 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Quarantine measures, longer immigration wait times, business disruptions; possible protests

Summary
Cambodian authorities continue to enforce restrictions to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of July 24, amid the easing of some measures. Schools remain closed, though officials plan to allow around 20 educational institutions to reopen in August with social distancing controls in place. Authorities have banned religious gatherings, though religious sites remain open for private activities. Several public facilities, including cinemas and karaoke parlors, remain closed. Casinos can restart limited operations, such as gambling and slot machines, after obtaining official approval. Museums resumed operations in June. The central government has earlier ordered garment manufacturing employees who have recently returned from their hometowns to self-quarantine for two weeks before resuming work.

Authorities passed a law, April 29, that allows the government to declare a state of emergency. However, officials have said that such a declaration is unlikely due to the low number of new COVID-19 cases since early April. Under a state of emergency, the government has the power to prohibit mass gatherings and limit people's ability to move, among others. The government could expand its response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country.

Around 500 garment, footwear, and travel goods factories have suspended operations involving around 150,000 workers since January due to decreased demand and government restrictions. Labor groups may demonstrate if the closure of factories continues and if there is insufficient government support for affected workers.

Travel Restrictions
Issuance of tourist visas and e-visas, visa-on-arrival services, and visa exemption remain suspended. Foreign nationals intending to visit the country need to obtain a visa from a Cambodian diplomatic mission by submitting documentation of medical insurance worth at least USD 50,000 and a medical certificate from local health authorities stating they are free from COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure. Diplomatic and official visa holders are exempt from the requirements. Officials will test arriving passengers for COVID-19 and require all travelers to quarantine for 14 days if any passenger tests positive for the disease. Authorities will permit travelers who test negative to self-quarantine; inbound foreign nationals will have to pay a USD 3,000 deposit to cover the costs, including USD 100 for the COVID-19 testing and USD 30 for a certificate stating they do not carry the virus. Cross-border travel with Vietnam for non-tourism purposes has resumed; travelers will have to adhere to relevant health protocols. Most border checkpoints remain closed.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Confirm flight status before checking out of accommodation and departing for the airport. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from affected locations. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Avoid all demonstrations as a precaution.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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