Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 31 issued a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, including potential travel restrictions, public gathering, curfew, and lockdown to certain areas, among others.
Comprising seven chapters and 23 articles, the seven-page sub-decree was signed by Hun Sen on March 31.
Article 4 states that travel is restricted, except commutes for work, shopping for food, health services and other purposes deemed necessary.
Article 5 stipulates that all public gatherings are forbidden, except among family members living in the same home, funeral rites as permitted by the local authorities, Covid-19 sample collections, or activities related to judicial police procedures.
Article 6 dictates that all business activities are temporarilly banned, except for necessary public works on utilities, online business, take-out at restaurants, food delivery, petrol services, post and emergency services.
According to Article 8: “All purposes of travel that are permitted by Article 4 are not allowed from 8pm to 5am, save for family emergencies, food delivery, travel that serves the public good, commutes to places of business and workplace as permitted by the authorities.”
All businesses that require travel that is permitted by the sub-decree must cease operations from 8pm to 5am, except for ambulance and health services, petrol, and other public services permitted by the authorities.
Travel to locations exposed to Covid-19 is banned, except for emergency and other necessary public services, food delivery or as permitted by the authorities, Article 9 states.
Article 11 says lockdown or other specific administrative measures throughout the country will be determined by government decision. Municipal and provincial governors have the authority to issue administrative measures in any part of their jurisdictions affected by Covid-19. Any administrative measures are to last for two weeks and can be extended for the same term.
Those who violate this sub-decree will be punished according to the Law on Measures to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19 and Other Serious, Dangerous and Contagious Diseases.
Government spokesperson Phay Siphan said travel restrictions are not for the whole country, but only for locations at high risk.
“For example, a few days ago, there was a travel ban at a Borei [gated residential community]. It is like this, the local authority have the power to prevent the Covid-19 virus from spreading. It is like when the police cordon off a certain place to prevent people from getting into a crime scene.
“If the authority restricts one location, it is completely shut down at night,” he said.
Ministry of Justice spokesperson Kim Santepheap told The Post on March 31 that the sub-decree is not yet enforced in any location or region in the country and no curfew is applied until further notice.
“Any administrative measure can be enforced only when there is a decision from the municipal or provincial governor for a certain place in their jurisdiction or for the whole capital or province,” he said.
With regard to inter-province travel, some provincial administrations confirmed on March 31 that there was no quarantine required for those who travel from one province to another, but provincial authorities are obliged to review and introduce health procedures.
Prey Veng provincial deputy governor Chan Tha said there was no government directive requiring people to quarantine and no lockdown was put in place.
“There has been no decision requiring quarantine when travelling from one province to another. But we must know the identity of travellers and their itinerary and we explain health procedures to them,” he said.
Tha said, however, that migrant workers returning from Thailand must undergo quarantine, as required by the government and the Ministry of Health. And the provincial authorities will take a precaution when someone from a high risk province enter Prey Veng.
Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesman Kheang Phearum said quarantine was only required for people suspected of having contracted the virus or tested positive for Covid-19.
But he said: “The provincial administration does not allow non-essential travel. Beside trucks transporting goods, patients, workers and emergency cases, any individual who wants to travel must submit a letter of request to the provincial administration for approval.”
Several other province also said that no quarantine had been required for inter-province travellers, though they must abide by health measures scanning Covid-19 QR code and having their health checked.
Hun Sen also issued a circular on measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the upcoming Khmer New Year holiday from April 14 to 16.
The prime minister instructed authorities at all levels to take measures to ensure better security, safety and public order during the holidays.
“Ensure the implementation and adherence to health measures to prevent and curb the spread of Covid-19. This includes traffic management through the capital, towns and provinces and in all public places,” he said.
As of March 31, Cambodia had recorded a total of 2,440 cases – 1,914 of which were linked to the February 20 community outbreak – with 1,191 recoveries and 14 confirmed deaths from the disease.