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Passenger arrivals abysmal

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Passenger arrivals are expected to increase to 25,000-30,000 in July. Fresh News

Passenger arrivals abysmal

Cambodia welcomed just around 20,000 airline passengers in May and June as the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation expects more arrivals for this month.

Its spokesman Chea Aun said on Thursday that the Kingdom normally welcomes 15,000-20,000 passengers a day on average.

From February to April, there were only about 6,000-7,000 passengers. This rose to 17,000 passengers in May and about 20,000 in June. He said he expects there will be around 25,000-30,000 passengers in July.

“The only passengers have been students and workers returning to Cambodia. Before, many tourists were entering the Kingdom daily.

“The number of passengers is very low now. If we compare the numbers entering the Kingdom from May to July this year to those who came on a single day before Covid-19, the numbers are almost equal,” said Aun.

Ministry of Health secretary of state York Sambath said starting from May 20 the government allowed passengers from six countries – the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Iran – to enter Cambodia.

From then until July 15, more than 20,000 arrived including 1,000 Khmer students. Most passengers were Chinese.

From May 20, stricter rules were applied to all passengers from abroad and they have to be quarantined for 14 days.

The ministry announced on Wednesday that among 80 students returning from Saudi Arabia, 25 were found positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 166.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Hun Sen reminded citizens on his Facebook page to wash their hands with soap or hand sanitizers, wear facemasks and not be careless because there is a low infection rate.

“Individuals and sellers in all types of shops, coffee shops, restaurants, construction sites, hairdressers, clinics, dental offices and hospitals must provide hand sanitizers and masks for customers to prevent spreading the virus from one person to another.

“Follow the advice of the Ministry of Health,” he said.

Despite warning about risks from abroad, Hun Sen released a sub-decree on July 15 allowing officers, employees and workers to have time off from August 17 to 21 as a replacement for the cancelled Khmer New Year holiday in April.

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training announced that all factories and enterprises have to pay salaries to workers who will have a break during that time.

Businesses not able to give workers time off must schedule different dates.

“If there is an agreement between employers and employees, the break can be granted differently from the scheduled date,” the announcement said.

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