Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kouch Chamroeun has cancelled the quarantine requirement for inbound passengers from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

The quarantine measure was introduced on April 29 in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus from the country’s main Covid-19 hotspots.

Exemptions were granted to passengers who were transiting the province before travelling to other countries; travellers to hospitals, health centres, maternity centres or emergency medical facilities; passengers who are either public or private medical staff, civil servants, firefighters; armed forces who are carrying out missions for their units; and passengers with essential and urgent reasons to skip quarantine, or as permitted by the authorities.

The decision dated May 5 said: “Cancel the 14-day quarantine requirement for travellers entering Sihanoukville via flights from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.”

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesman Kheang Phearum told The Post on May 5 that the quarantine cancellation was due to the downgrading of Covid-19 risk in a number of Phnom Penh’s red zones.

“Thus, we cancelled our decision on flights traveling from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville as well as from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville International Airport, which previously required passengers to do 14-day qurantines,” Phearum said.

“Now .. there is no quarantine,” he added.

Phearum said Sihanoukville is still designated as a locked down area, and so far no decision has been made to remove or exempt it from the lockdown.

“Planes which fly from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap to Sihanoukville will land at Kang Keng International Airport in Prey Nop district,” he said.

Phearum said the provincial administration has been considering a number of measures that are under discussion to ensure that passengers on these flights do not carry the virus.

“The official decision on the measures we are still debating has not been decided yet, so I have not been able to provide information for publication at this time,” he said.

As of May 4, Preah Sihanouk province had recorded a total of 2,023 cases, with 1,116 remaining hospitalised and six fatalities.