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Visa on arrival back, no Covid tests

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Passengers arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

Visa on arrival back, no Covid tests

Cambodia is resuming its visa on arrival programme and scrapping both PCR and rapid tests for fully vaccinated passengers to attract more visitors and investors.

The Ministry of Health on March 17 announced that fully vaccinated inbound passengers will no longer be required to show a PCR test result proving that they are negative for the coronavirus 72 hours prior to their arrival in Cambodia.

According to the notice signed by health minister Mam Bun Heng, inbound passengers are also exempted from Covid-19 rapid antigen tests upon arrival although they are “encouraged” to do so on their own.

The notice said that visa on arrival for passengers arriving by land, air and waterway has now resumed.

All passengers are required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination upon arrival and those who have not been fully vaccinated are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine as designated by the health ministry or relevant authories.

The exemptions apparently come as the Covid-19 situation in Cambodia has been largely brought under control, with cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant remaining below 200 over the past week.

As the restrictions are eased, Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed to the public to continue adhering to the preventive measure of three dos and three dont’s.

Speaking at the inauguration of SOS Children’s Village in Prey Veng province on March 17, Hun Sen said: “Passengers from any country are not required to get a visa. They can apply for visa on arrival. This is the request of our tourism minister. Previously, before they arrived in Cambodia, they needed to get a visa, but now we will resume visa on arrival.”

According to the premier, every day Cambodia spends a lot of money on rapid tests kits and personal protective equipment (PPE).

He said rapid testing had interrupted daily work activities. Also, the lifting of the restrictions came because of the fact that the airlines already had similar requirements.

“We will ease these requirements to attract more investors and to facilitate the travel of business people coming to Cambodia. All of these are what we need to do for development as we live with Covid-19,” he said.

Separately, the health ministry has issued an instruction to begin the new anti-Covid-19 campaign on March 22. Bun Heng said the campaign will have the theme “Covid-19’s new variant Omicron is more transmissible and is a risk to you and your family”.

The ministry said the campaign is being held because it has noted that the some members of the public have become complacent and drop their guard down, especially at large gatherings, which it said are high risk for the spread of the virus.

The ministry said all individuals, families, communities, institutions and authorities have to be highly responsible to cut the spread of Omicron in a sustainable way and to live in the new normal.

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