Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who at present had to show prrof of vaccination certificate.
“We have removed the requirement for all inbound travelers in all modes of transport: Land, sea and air. No longer require producing health certificates or showing proof of full vaccination upon arrival,” said Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng in October announcement.
The decision, which takes effect immediately, followed by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recommendation. He had urged the removal of all restrictions after his US’ New York City trip of the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA), noting that the authorities at the airports were not checking vaccination cards or testing anyone.
Bun Heng said travelers would still be required to have their temperatures taken upon arrival at the border. Besides, health officials and relevant officials in charge of quarantine will remain at borders and airports to check travelers and provide advisory to them if necessary.
The minister also urged all people whom have yet been vaccinated to get it immediately in order to maintain infection preventive measures.
Royal Academy of Cambodia secretary-general Yang Peou said that lifting the restrictions would accelerate the Kingdom’s economic recovery in the post-Covid era. He said most of the Cambodian have been vaccinated and several had received their fifth booster shots.
“We see that Cambodia has achieved herd immunity against Covid-19. Hence, reopening the country to welcome international travellers without requiring to show health certificates or vaccination cards is a good way for us to boost the economic recovery and to welcome international tourists back to Cambodia,” he said.
Peou said he would urge the public to continue remain vigilant about infection prevention measures, even though have been fully vaccinated.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the recent celebrations of Kan Ben and Pchum Ben widely by public, without spread of Covid-19 or deaths from the virus recorded. However, he noted his concern about the road toll over the holiday period.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony with approx. 4,000 students at Vanda Institute, Samdech confirmed that people were well aware of the health measures put in place by the government in response to the pandemic.
Cambodia is considered one of the world’s leading nations for its Covid-19 response, thanks to the remarkable success of its vaccination programme, which created a high level of social resilience that has in turn allowed the Kingdom to reopen.
“After the spread of the virus was halted, we were able to reopen the Kingdom on 1 November last year. This was clear evidence that the government’s measures were the most appropriate solution for saving people’s lives,” said the prime minister.
Hun Sen added that if he had gotten careless last year, perhaps some monks and Buddhists would not have been able to observe Pchum Ben this year as Covid-19 may have taken their lives. This year, people were able to enjoy the traditional festivals without any serious spread of the disease.
“Our losses this year caused by traffic accidents, not from the virus. 19 patients were hospitalized due to Covid-19. Most people were treated at home, thanks to the strong herd immunity provided by our inoculation campaign,” he said.
There were 27 people killed and 57 injured in traffic accidents across the country during the three-day festival held in 24 to 26 September. In the same period last year, there were 14 deaths and 64 injuries.
Cambodia is now considered a global leader in the area of public health for its control of the pandemic, and has achieved one of the highest vaccination rates worldwide, said Hun Sen.
As the situation has improved, prime minister has instructed the Ministry of Health to examine lifting more restrictions. He outlined plans to lift the entry conditions for travellers to the Kingdom in September when he presided over the 6th National Interfaith Forum Against Human Trafficking in Chroy Changvar.