After the meeting chaired by His Excellency Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, Permanent Deputy Chairman of the Anti-Covid-19 Commission, together with relevant officials, presented the results, which I would like to take this opportunity to inform necessary the implementation procedure after receiving this message.
First, lift masks wearing duty in public places and open spaces other than closed areas, where people may decide whether or not to wear a mask. From the moment you receive this voicemail, you can choose to continue wearing or stop wearing the mask in an open place other than a closed one. A closed place, I mean air-conditioned room where people have meeting or in a crowded movie theater with air conditioning. In the case of an open area of the same building with veranda or space outside, the mask can be removed. A clear example is the public roads, parks, and other places where there is no closed space. You can decide for yourself whether to wear a mask or not.
In some other areas, the government continues to encourage wearing masks, but it is not mandatory. But the government is still keen to promote the wearing of masks in crowded places and those with suspected Covid-19 cases. Therefore, this is the best option we have chosen to share hardships endured by our compatriots after we have already achieved basic vaccination. And with this, I would like to point out that places that used to comply with the standards set by the Ministry, such as restaurants or some closed areas, must continue to apply accordingly and according to the actual location, and we are flexible with this.
To ensure the resilience of the mask-free and non-infectious disease, I am calling on the people to accept the third booster dose, which is considered the least level booster dose in the country, after our brothers and sisters had had their two basic doses […] this is a requirement for your personal well-being and to protect your life, as well as your family and other individuals.
To avoid any confusion, let me state clearly that even though I use the word “duty”, it is not a legal obligation. The use of the word duty can be confusing, but what I mean is that it bases on voluntary basis, and even if you decide to not get it, there is no law requiring a fine, penalties or (punishable by) administrative measures. However, I still insist that our compatriots continue to take the third dose, which is the least level booster dose for those who have already had the first and second doses.
If our brothers/sisters are satisfied to receive a fourth dose, as we are examining the possibility of a fifth dose for our frontline officers, we do not have any problems with the vaccines needed. What I mostly want is for the estimated 6.4 million people who have not yet received their third doses to come and receive theirs. Let me emphasize that even if you do not get the booster jabs, there are no fines or penalties, but please consider it for own personal welfare and for each of you and your family. It is obligatory for the health sector to require a third booster dose in order to maintain resilience in our health and your contribution to the prevention of Covid-19 disease.
I continue to encourage all individuals to take rapid test, and in case of any suspicion, they must be isolated and treated […] because after the removal of the duty to wear a mask, we must monitor closely on these points and locations where infection could have occurred and that the Royal Government must adopt a management approach through the re-application of the mask duty in parts, or the whole country.
After the exemption from wearing masks, I suggest that people also conduct self-rapid test to find out about Covid-19, while keeping connection with the authorities, especially the health sector, to monitor the evolution of all these issues so that we can take timely action. The health sector is ready to respond to any problems that may arise, because in our world, Covid-19 is not over yet.
In addition to that, the World Health Organization announced three new variants. If we found out they were threatening, the Royal Government will have to retake measures to impose mandatory mask wearing to protect your health. The health sector must be closely monitoring and ready to respond quickly to the situation that may arise after we remove the masked duty.
I hope that removal of the mask obligation will create a happy atmosphere for our people and will also contribute to the savings in consumption […] and save the money for other purposes. I am still saying this to ensure that the community immunity will be strengthened even after the removal of the mask obligation (because) vaccination will completely replace the mask. Those who have not yet received the third dose should come for it and if necessary, for the fourth dose. We will give them the fourth dose and are prepared to provide the fifth booster dose for our front-line officers.
I have deep appreciation and thanks for our people who in the past had actively participated in supporting the measures taken by the Royal Government through the Ministry of Health, through sub-national authorities with my voice message to the people. It is because of the cooperation and participation of the people that our country is relieved. Today, there are only two Covid-19 cases found in the whole Cambodia, which is an unprecedented event. For the first time in the history of more than a year that in Phnom Penh, there were no infection cases for April 25, 2022. This is gratifying with the participation of the people and the efforts of the competent authorities, especially the medical team, as well as the relevant departments that have taken care to implement these measures.
I congratulate the people who will be freed from the mask duty today, but still call for them to keep masks at hands when they reach the place where it is necessary to wear the mask as prescribed by the Ministry of Health. And the relevant departments will prepare measures to confirm later on where to wear, where not to wear, and where they define to be a non-ventilated or insufficient ventilation location. If the place is closed, they do not turn on the air conditioner, but the windows open, we may be able to lift mandatory mask wearing too. This is the desires of our people and the Royal Government to participating in saving […] for their families.
I would like to extend my blessings to the monks, my compatriots, for them to meet with the five blessings of the Buddha […] let our mask removal and the responsibility of the people to decide for themselves whether or not to wear a mask be successful in the time to come. Thank you all./.