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Cambodian PM announces quarantine-free travel for fully-vaccinated passengers

 
Phnom Penh, Nov 15 (IANS) Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced quarantine-free travel for all fully vaccinated inbound passengers after most of the country's population have been inoculated against Covid-19.

The quarantine-free travel will take effect from November 22, he said in a special audio message released publicly.

"As almost 88 per cent of our total population have received Covid-19 vaccines, so quarantine requirements are not needed anymore," Xinhua news agency quoted Hun Sen as saying.

"Both Cambodians and foreigners travelling to Cambodia will be no longer required to go into a quarantine, but those, who have not been inoculated, will be required to undergo a full 14-day quarantine," he added.

However, all inbound passengers' samples will be taken for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests upon their arrival in the kingdom, and they can wait for the results at their own residences or the homes of their friends or relatives, he said.

"When the results show that he/she is negative for Covid-19, he/she has right to travel to wherever he/she wants to," he said.

The Prime Minister said the fully vaccinated passengers, who are currently undergoing quarantine at various centres, will be allowed to leave their facilities beginning on Monday.

The latest move came after the Southeast Asian nation completed the administration of least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccines to 14.05 million people, or 87.8 per cent of its 16-million population, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Of them, 13.2 million, or 82.5 per cent, have been fully inoculated, and 2.02 million, or 12.6 per cent, have received a third or a booster dose, the MoH said.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the quarantine-free policy, saying that it would encourage investors and tourists to come to Cambodia.

"It's a good opportunity to attract both foreign investors and tourists to our country, as some countries still impose travel restrictions, and I believe that foreign tourists, who are boring during the Covid-19 era, will come to Cambodia for leisure," he told Xinhua.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the move would give a big boost to the tourism industry, which had been hit hard by the pandemic.

"It's exciting news for tour and travel operators as well as for other tourism-related businesses, and we're confident that this quarantine-free policy will reboot our tourism growth after a slump for nearly two years," she told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, Cambodia reported 55 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the overall infection tally to 119,536, the MoH said, adding that six new fatalities were confirmed which increased the total death toll to 2,867.

An additional 62 patients have recovered, which took the cumulative total to 115,924.

--IANS
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