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Ban on travel lifted, museums to reopen

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Museums across the country are set to reopen. Hong Menea

Ban on travel lifted, museums to reopen

Starting May 20, foreigners from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US who were banned from entering Cambodia since the novel coronavirus broke out will be allowed to visit the Kingdom as normal. They were banned from entering the Kingdom since mid-March.

A Ministry of Health announcement on travellers read: “Please revise measures to prevent, stop and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic for all travellers by air, road and water to enter Cambodia. Repeal the ban on foreigners.”

Its minister Mam Bun Heng said in the announcement that even though all travellers are allowed to enter Cambodia including Cambodians and foreigners, they had to hold certificates confirming that they had no Covid-19.

The certificates are to be released by the health authorities recognised by the governments of each country within 72 hours of arriving in Cambodia.

He said foreigners must have health insurance documentation of at least $50,000 while staying in Cambodia and must adhere to the government’s measures.

“All travellers, including Cambodians and foreigners who arrive in Cambodia must be sent to waiting rooms to test for Covid-19 and wait for a result from the Pasteur Institute. In case one or many travellers are detected with Covid-19, other passengers on the same trip must be quarantined for 14 days.

“If results prove negative, Covid-19 passengers are allowed to be quarantined for 14 days at their homes under the monitoring of local authorities and health officials, and they are required to be tested again on day 13 of the quarantine,” he said.

The ministry has also decided to reopen more than 30 museums across the country for national and international visitors starting next month, once hygiene measures are implemented.

A notice released by the ministry to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona on Wednesday said the decision was made after it was approved by Prime Minister Hun Sen. The reopening of museums is intended to reduce socio-economic impacts.

The health ministry also advised the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts that before reopening museums, they had to set up protective measures to avoid the risk of people transmitting Covid-19.

“Before visiting [museums], visitors will have their temperatures checked. They must wash their hands with alcohol or use hand sanitiser gel and they have to maintain social distancing and wear facemasks.

“All individuals have to practice the measures. Any visitor or individual who has health problems or is suspected of [Covid-19] are not allowed to visit museums,” the notice read.

Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeung Sakona said her ministry would issue an additional announcement around the opening of the museums for relevant institutions.

With some concern over the disease, she said the ministry has already prepared some policies for sanitation, advice and related materials to fight and prevent the disease because, during the temporary closure, all officials worked normally.

“The health ministry has advised opening [museums], meaning [we] must take care and always be cautious. Keeping social distancing for visitors or officials at the museums, along with preventive measures which must be practised constantly,” she said.

Sakona said Cambodia has 31 museums nationwide including 29 state-run and two private ones that are officially registered. She hopes that more local and international visitors go to the museums when they open.

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