I discussed with HE Aun Porn Moniroth, as we have reviewed and discovered that we need to change what we have prepared for the past and have been doing. It is to facilitate the reopening of the country for the reception of tourists, the travel of our people who go abroad and return, our compatriots who are living abroad and want to visit, and investors who come to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Previously, we required seven days quarantine for those vaccinated with two doses, as for business person and our Cambodian delegation abroad had to quarantine for three days while for vaccinated tourist needed to quarantine in the area for five days. The situation is no longer right because our country is fully vaccinated, covering up to 88% of the population of 16 million. Therefore, there is no need to quarantine unless you have not been vaccinated. Those who have not been vaccinated must be quarantined for 14 days.
But for both Cambodians and foreigners who come to the Kingdom of Cambodia, it is no longer required to quarantine. However, those who traveled by air and landed in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap must take a PCR test. While waiting for the result, they have to wait; for instance, Cambodians can wait for the results at their home, and for investors who have a house or any accommodations in the Kingdom of Cambodia, they can remain at that place. People from abroad, Cambodians returning from abroad, can go and wait at the house of their friends or relatives, depending on where they land, such as in Phnom Penh, they have to wait in Phnom Penh, if they land in Sihanoukville, they have to wait in Sihanoukville, or if they arrive in Siem Reap, please remain in Siem Reap. Tourists have to stay at the hotel for the results of the PCR test.
If it is a negative result, all tourists and compatriots who come to the Kingdom of Cambodia have the right to travel wherever they want, regardless of the provincial boundaries as in the past. This means that we have to omit the requirement to stay for 3 or 5 days in the area (upon their arrival); this time, we just need to wait for the results of the PCR test. Therefore, upon arrival at each airport, it is necessary to take a sample for testing and remain at the place I mentioned above. After realizing that the result is negative, you can travel all over the country, not just within the provincial boundaries as planned in the past. In doing so, I hope that our Cambodian citizens who have returned abroad do not have to worry about quarantining for three days, five days, or seven days. All you have to do is take a sample for testing, and you have to wait (for the result) at a place where you can stay, such as your home or your friend’s/relative’s house, for Cambodian who come back from abroad and/or Cambodian who living abroad visiting the home country. For foreign investors, they must remain within their accommodation. The tourists must stay at any hotels.
Therefore, to carry out this work, I would like to ask the Ministry of Health to strengthen the capacity for PCR testing for Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville because we must provide timely testing services when guests and those who travel by plane arrive. I hope we can strengthen the capacity of sample testing so that we can all be comfortable reopening the country. Even our Cambodian people who have gone abroad and returned do not need to quarantine. All you have to do is take a sample and wait patiently at your place of residence for the results. After realizing that the result is negative, you can travel anywhere you want. Therefore, this is in order to reopen the country and let the relevant departments and institutions immediately prepare to respond with the implementation from tomorrow onwards. This means that tomorrow, the 15th, we will start the practice of no mandatory quarantine.
For those who are currently in quarantine, once you have seen this ordinance, if it is not necessary, please let them out (of quarantine) from tomorrow. That includes those quarantine at hotels and other places, who have already been given negative PCR (results) but have to wait (re-test) on the 7th day, there is no need to keep them waiting. I hope that this measure is in line with the situation that some countries have already been implementing. They have lower vaccination rate than our country, and they have been carried out no mandatory quarantine upon arrival and just proceed with sample taking.
His Excellency Aun Porn Moniroth, please lead the meeting with the Ministry of Tourism and Health to solve this problem as soon as possible from tomorrow in order to ease difficulties for the business person, Cambodians who have returned from abroad, or Cambodians who live abroad and visit their home-country. On the previous day, we found out about the case of a granddaughter who went to work in Korea and her father got sick. We then assisted her to meet her father, who was seriously ill in Takeo province. To avoid all these problems, once we have fully vaccinated with the Three Dos and Three Don’ts measures, I believe we can do it.
Let our compatriots enjoy this happy moment as we are gradually opening the country back since the country gets vaccination. I would like to reiterate that those who have not yet been vaccinated need to be tested and quarantined for another 14 days still, both Cambodians and foreigners included. There is no need for quarantine for those of you who have already got (at least) two jabs. The only requirement is to take the sample for testing and to wait somewhere for the results. After receiving the negative results, you can travel all over the country, both Khmer and foreign nationals. Thank you.
Earlier, I sent a voicemail message regarding the need for people who travel from abroad to enter the country to be tested by a PCR machine and be required to wait at a hotel, home, or any places for the results. However, according to what has been happening before, foreigners, our Cambodian compatriots from abroad, or Cambodians living abroad, who have already been vaccinated, there is no requirement for PCR testing anymore but only requires to do the rapid test. So, there is no need for them to wait for the results of the PCR machine certification. All you have to do is taking (rapid) test at the airport (for those travel by plane), and at any border crossings (for those who travel via road and/or maritime transportations) which we wait (for rapid test result) only 15 minutes to 20 minutes. After that, you will be able to travel anywhere in the country indefinitely, depending on your preferences.
This is a non-discriminatory practice; both Cambodians from abroad, compatriots in the country who go abroad and return, and foreign tourists and business people will also be practicing the same. But I would also like to clarify that those who have not been vaccinated must undergo a PCR test and have to be quarantined for 14 days. This practice also applies within the land, sea, and air framework, which I previously only mentioned air (travel). But from tomorrow, it is also necessary to implement this new measure on both land and waterways. Upon arrival, if they already have two doses given, we only do a rapid test. In case no positive Covid-19 is found, travel is allowed throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia.
We practice with Thailand, with Laos, and with our neighbors Vietnam, who have been vaccinated. The same goes for our Cambodian brothers and sisters who travel to Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Even Thais and Laotians entering the Kingdom of Cambodia are also treated the same; those who have received two doses of the vaccine, must be tested by rapid test, and if it is not positive, they can travel throughout Cambodia. Those who were not vaccinated had to be tested (by PCR) and quarantined for 14 days.
I want to reiterate that both foreigners and Cambodians from abroad (who are in quarantine at the moment) must be considered releasing them from quarantine from tomorrow. And this regulation will be implemented from tomorrow at all entrances, waterways, land, and air. So, this is a way to speed up opening the country and facilitating our people. I have learnt that some of our citizens want to go abroad but are worried about returning to our country and need to quarantine. Our Cambodian brothers and sisters abroad, longing for their homeland, want to return to the country but are also worried about quarantine. Now all of you have no more worries and anxieties anymore. Before leaving the country (of origin), you must have a Covid-19 Result Certification within 72 hours. Arriving in the Kingdom of Cambodia, you only require rapid testing that takes only 15 to 20 minutes. After checking that it is negative, it is possible to travel across the country without any obstruction.
I urge the Ministry of Health, Tourism, and other relevant departments, to implement this measure from November 15, 2021, onwards. Please publish this message immediately in addition to the message I sent previously./.