The government has decided to permit travel between yellow zones in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province – both of which have been under strict lockdown – in order to allow residents to go about their daily lives and businesses.
In a new lockdown directive issued on April 26, Phnom Penh and Takmao will be divided into red, dark yellow and yellow zones. A red zone is considered to be at highest risk for Covid-19 transmissions, a dark yellow zone is considered to be moderate risk and yellow zones are at the lowest level of risk.
Article 5 of the directive stipulates that travel within the yellow zones is unrestricted. All manner of businesses within yellow zones are allowed to reopen except the following which must remain closed – state and private schools including vocational training schools; entertainment clubs, KTVs, bars, beer gardens and massage parlours; liquor shops; resorts; theatres and performing arts venues; museums; gymnasiums or fitness centres and athletic facilities.
The directive also states that the authorities can close other non-essential businesses when it is necessary to combat the spread of the disease. Businesses in the yellow zones are expected to implement preventive measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing, and use of sanitiser gels.
Phnom Penh’s red zones include Meanchey district's Stung Meanchey I, II and III communes; Por Sen Chey district's Chaom Chao I commune; and villages 14, 16 and 17 in Tuol Kork district's Boeung Salang commune.
As of April 27, there had been no official confirmation as to which areas are red, dark yellow and yellow zones.
But according to a three-page document with the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration’s logo which has been widely shared on social media, the red zones are the same as were previously identified. Another 20 communes are identified as dark yellow zones, while the rest are yellow.
Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Meth Meas Pheakdey, however, denied that the municipality had officially drawn a map of the zones or made a final determination regarding each communes status and that citizens should wait for the official announcement instead of relying on what may be a preliminary planning document or one proposal among several from the various government offices involved.
“The government just issued the decision on April 26, and it will be effective from April 29, 2021,” he said.
He said the public should stop sharing the unofficial information on zones as it could mislead the public and result in legal action against them.