Fully vaccinated international tourists will soon be able to add Cambodia to their list of possible Southeast Asia travel destinations following an announcement from the Ministry of Tourism.
Main picture, Koh Rong, Cambodia credit Paul Szewczyk on Unsplash
Beach paradise Koh Rong, neighborouring Sihanoukville and the Chinese-developed resort of Dara Sakor will all reopen on 30th November.
Other areas will be added if the initial pilot is a success but a full reopening will not be considered until it is deemed that the threat of further Covid-19 outbreaks is very low.
“The Ministry of Tourism is honored to inform the public and international tourists that in accordance with the high permission of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Cambodia will start accepting international tourists. Those wishing to visit Cambodia from November 30, 2021 onwards, starting in Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, Sihanoukville and Darasakor area of Koh Kong province and then in Siem Reap, in January 2022, within the framework of the Vaccine Tourism Program, which allows international tourists to stay and visit local or safe tourist destinations for 5 days without the need for a hotel quarantine.
Visitors to the vaccination tour are required to have a quick screening for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport. If the results are negative, tourists can travel freely in the area or safe tourism destination, all tourism businesses are inspected in accordance with the standard operating procedures and tourism safety rules in advance.”Unofficial translation from the Ministry of Tourism statement via The Khmer Times
All visitors will need to be fully vaccinated and have negative Covid-19 tests pre-departure and on arrival in Cambodia. As long as the arrival test is negative they will then be able to more freely around their approved destination for their first 5 days before being allowed to travel around the rest of Cambodia.
Visitors must also have return flights booked, have health insurance covering Covid-19 costs, travel insurance in case of cancellation and full travel history for their previous 14 days if not coming direct from their home country or country of residence.
“All visitors taking part in the vaccinated tourism programme are only required to undergo antigen rapid testing for Covid-19 upon arrival at the international airports. If the result is negative, they can travel freely in the areas deemed safe tourist destinations where all of the resorts and attractions will be enforcing [preventive health procedures and measures].”Thong Khon, Tourism Minister via Phnom Pehn Post
Travellers must also take a further PCR test prior to their departure from Cambodia.
The Vaccine Tourism Programme seems to have similarities with the Phuket Sandbox programme that also allowed visitors to travel to contained areas without the need for a hotel quarantine. Thailand will retire the Sandbox at the end of this month as quarantine-free travel is launched for fully vaccinated tourists.
Vietnam have also recently announced their reopening plans but are launching with a hotel quarantine which many believe will limit the success of their reopening scheme.
More than 6.6 million foreign visitors headed to Cambodia in 2019, generating more than US$5 billion of income.
The country, despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, has until now resisted re-launching its international tourist trade.
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