The Ministry of Tourism has told the Phnom Penh municipal governor and his provincial counterparts to keep tabs on the application of health measures as entertainment venues such as karaoke television (KTV) parlours and discotheques gear up to reopen from December 1.

Prime Minister Hun Sen signed the reopening accord based on the results of a November 7 meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19, the ministry said in an instruction dated November 11.

The instruction said owners or operators wishing to reopen venues must apply to the ministry for permission and adhere to the sector-relevant Covid-19 prevention standard operating procedure (SOP).

The reopening procedure is divided into two phases, the first of which entails a thorough inspection of the establishment by the municipal or provincial authorities before resuming business as usual.

During this phase, authorities have to train businesses and staff on the SOP and other “safe tourism measures” pertinent to KTV parlours and discotheques.

Phase II involves regular and thorough inspections after businesses reopen, to ensure compliance with the SOP and the “new normal” guidelines.

“In the event that business owners do not follow the ‘safe tourism measures’ or the SOP for KTV parlours and discotheques, the capital or provincial administrations must take action and shut down those businesses, and bring the business owners to face the law,” the instruction said.

KTV parlours, nightclubs and similar types of entertainment establishments are deemed inherently to carry a high risk of potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, making them among the last businesses to reopen.