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.
Cambodia has not yet imposed any restrictions on entering the country or on obtaining visas for foreign visitors. However, as the crisis continues, this looks likely to change.
Restrictions on Visas and Traveling to Cambodia
Cambodia has not yet placed any additional restrictions on traveling to the country or amended its visa requirements for foreign nationals.
Citizens of the following countries can still travel to Cambodia visa-free for up to 30 days, except where noted:
- Brunei (14 days)
- Seychelles (14 days)
- Thailand (14 days)
See the visa requirements for Cambodia for more information on who is eligible for the eVisa.
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.
Travel Between Cambodia and China
While many countries have stopped or limited travel to China, Cambodia is one of the few who have maintained normal travel regulations with the world’s third-largest state.
Cambodia has a close relationship with China. Prime Minister Hun Sen has refused to restrict flights and tourist arrivals from his close ally.
The Prime Minister even offered to go to Wuhan in China’s Hubei province—the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak and talk to Cambodian citizens there to calm their fears.
What Is the Risk of Coronavirus in Cambodia?
Officially, there has only been one case of coronavirus in Cambodia: a 34-year-old man who had been in contact with a Japanese visitor believed to have been infected with the virus.
Previously, a Chinese visitor in Cambodia had been diagnosed with COVID-19, but is said to have recovered and returned to China.
In addition, 3 British nationals on a tourist boat on the Mekong River have also been found to have coronavirus.
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.
However, other passengers who disembarked before the quarantine was put in place may have also had COVID-19 but were not showing symptoms, meaning that more cases could be present in the country than have been documented.