Cambodia, like the rest of the world, has been affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While scientists around the globe search for a cure, governments of various countries have been taking steps to stop the spread of the virus.
Measures taken against the coronavirus include quarantine facilities, medical testing at ports of entry and at health centers, closure of schools and places of work, and travel restrictions.
Restrictions on Visas and Traveling to Cambodia
Like many other countries, Cambodia has implemented several measures that affect international travel, all in order to lower the risk of infection for both Cambodian and foreign nationals.
The Cambodian authorities assure that these restrictions and limitations are temporary and will be regularly reviewed and updated as the global situation evolves.
Suspension of Visa Processing
On the 30th of March 2020, the government announced the suspension of all visa exemption policies. This means that until the epidemic is resolved, visa-free travel to Cambodia is not allowed. The issuance of new eVisas (electronic visas), visas on arrival, and tourist visas is also temporarily suspended.
As long as these measures are in place, those wishing to visit Cambodia have to obtain a visa from a Cambodian embassy or consulate abroad.
check the nationality requirements to enter Cambodia
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Hong Kong
- Korea South
- New Zealand
- Russian Federation
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Health Certificate and Insurance for Foreigners
On top of the usual visa requirements for the country, foreigners must also provide a medical certificate no older than 72 hours issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin. This must certify that the traveler has not tested positive for COVID-19. Moreover, visitors must have purchased medical insurance coverage for the entirety of their trip for a minimum of USD $50,000.
The medical insurance and certificate requirements do not apply to holders of diplomatic and official visas (visas A and B) for Cambodia or to Cambodian nationals.
Upon arrival, all international travelers will go through mandatory health screening processes. Officers carrying out the health checks will make a decision on allowing the traveler to enter Cambodia.
Passengers arriving from abroad may be subject to mandatory quarantine or other measures for the prevention of contagion as prescribed by the Cambodian Health Minister.
Authorities in most countries are advising caution when traveling. The advice is to only travel abroad if absolutely necessary.
However, according to the figures, Cambodia is one of the countries least affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Foreign nationals who still plan to travel to Cambodia should know these things to arrive prepared.
Cambodian Mandatory Deposit for International Travelers
In order to cover the expenses of mandatory testing, quarantine, and medical attention in case of positive results, international passengers must deposit $2,000 at a designated bank upon arrival.
The mandatory deposit does not apply to:
- Cambodian nationals
- Foreign passport holders of Cambodian descent with a type-K entry permit
The remainder of the deposit will be refunded as long as the traveler and all other passengers on the flight they arrived on test negative for COVID-19 on the 13th day of quarantine.
When Will Cambodia Relax Its Travel Restrictions?
Cambodia is already planning to ease some of its travel restrictions. An agreement has been reached with Japan to permit travel between the 2 countries for expatriates, business travelers, and exchange students.
Travelers will still have to follow some of the mandatory precautions against coronavirus, including a 14-day quarantine.
This agreement is set to come into effect in September 2020.
What Is the Risk of Coronavirus in Cambodia?
Officially, there have been very few cases of coronavirus in Cambodia. That is why the country is considered at very low risk. The vast majority of patients have made a full recovery.
However, locals and visitors alike should exercise caution and protect themselves from infection by following the official sanitary guidelines, which include:
- Wash hands often and avoid touching the face
- Keep physical distance while in public spaces
- Self-isolate and contact the relevant authorities should symptoms appear
Cambodia’s Response to the MS Westerdam
Cambodia allowed the cruise ship MS Westerdam to dock in Sihanoukville after it had been turned away by 5 other countries amid fears that passengers had been infected after docking in Hong Kong.
This move was praised by the World Health Organization (WHO), who called it an “example of international solidarity”.
Initially, only 20 passengers who reported feeling unwell were tested. All others had their temperature taken and had the option of filling out a form certifying that they were well if they wanted to disembark.
One of these passengers tested positive after flying to Malaysia. Cambodian authorities then quarantined all remaining passengers on the Westerdam.