Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Cambodia lifting entry restrictions for visitors from some countries as of May 21 due to COVID-19. Other measures ongoing.

This alert affects Cambodia

This alert began 21 May 2020 05:24 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Quarantine measures, longer immigration wait times, business disruptions; possible protests

Summary
The government has lifted entry restrictions for foreign nationals traveling from France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain, and the US amid attempts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 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 all 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 that test negative to self-quarantine. Most border checkpoints remain closed. The government has also banned cross-border travel for Cambodian and Vietnamese citizens.

Authorities passed a law, April 29, that allows the government to declare a state of emergency, though 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 the people's ability to move, among others. At the domestic level, officials have ordered garment manufacturing employees who have recently returned from their hometowns to self-quarantine for two weeks before resuming work. While authorities plan to reopen museums from June, casinos and all public and private schools will remain suspended until further notice. The government could expand its response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country.

Around 180 garment and footwear factories have suspended operation 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 there is insufficient government support for affected workers.

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
Postpone travel if affected by restrictions. 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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