Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t relaxes Covid-19 rules for industrial sector

Gov’t relaxes Covid-19 rules for industrial sector

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Garment workers clock out from factory in Phnom Penh's Meanchey district. Yousos Apdoulrashim

Gov’t relaxes Covid-19 rules for industrial sector

The government gave the nod to a handful of requests from the private sector to mitigate some of the consequences of Covid-19 control measures felt at factories and manufacturing enterprises.

From June 11-16, four business associations independently submitted letters to the government appealing for reprieve from some of the strictest restrictions provided by the Action Plan on Measures to Control Covid-19 at Factories and Enterprises in Phnom Penh, handled by the municipal administration.

These were the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA), Cambodia Footwear Association (CFA) and Japanese Business Association of Cambodia (JBAC).

On July 9, a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 approved a number of the points outlined in letters, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

In a letter dated July 16 and signed by minister Aun Pornmoniroth, the finance ministry said the government has lifted quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated workers and other employees at industrial businesses who have had potential indirect exposure to SARS-CoV-2 but exhibit no symptoms of Covid-19.

The government will continue to bear the costs of Covid-19 rapid antigen testing, should a cluster outbreak occur at a factory or manufacturing enterprise, the ministry said.

It added that the government would also assume the full responsibility for the care and treatment of Covid-19 patients.

GMAC secretary-general Ken Loo asserted that the government had greenlit the requests that would optimally contribute to the recovery of the industrial sector.

He told The Post: “Some requests were agreed … the most important of which is the confirmation that all treatment costs would be borne by the government and that the government will also bear all testing costs in the case of outbreaks at enterprises.

“The government has allowed all private enterprises to conduct rapid tests at their own expense and also made available such rapid test kits at a very low price. This will give us more tools to better manage the pandemic and allow early detection and contact tracing in the event of any positive cases.”

Cambodia Footwear Association president Ly Kunthai said the government was attentive to the appeals of industry players in its decision-making, seeking to ease their burden during these trying times.

“We’ve now obtained solutions from the government that will help us, as factories grin and bear a wide range issues during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Cambodia exported $2.410 billion worth of garments, footwear and travel goods in the first quarter of this year, shrinking 6.48 per cent from the $2.577 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2020, according to data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia.

Analysed by category, garments fell 6.43 per cent from $1.897 to $1.775 billion, footwear slumped 7.33 per cent from $341 to $316 million, and travel goods – including suitcases, backpacks, handbags and wallets – declined 5.89 per cent from $339 to $319 million.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested