Cambodia / COVID Info

COVID-19 Updated Travel Information and Restrictions: Cambodia

During this grave time of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot to look out for while traveling around- both domestically and overseas. Air passengers traveling to the United States are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding. If a passenger chooses not to provide a test result or documentation of recovery, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

Get tested no more than 3 days before your flight to the US departs. Make sure to be tested with a viral test (NAAT- nucleic acid amplification test- or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19. Also, make sure that you are able to receive your results before your flight departs and have documentation of your results on hand to show the airline.

Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT)

Some countries are conducting exit screening for all passengers leaving their destination. Before being permitted to board a departing flight, you may have your temperature taken and be asked questions about your travel history and health.

Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in risky close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Your chances of getting COVID-19 while traveling depends not only on the length of the trip and the number of stops, but also on whether you and those around you take precautions, such as wearing masks and staying at least 6 feet away from other people. Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus through respiratory droplets or on surfaces. These are also places where it can be hard to maintain physical distancing from each other. In general, the longer you are around a person with COVID-19 (even if they do not have symptoms), the more likely you are to get infected.

Although the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 in Cambodia is low, it is still better to postpone your travel plans to anywhere at the moment.

Flag of Cambodia

Tourist Spots Update

While going through customs and quarantine is hectic, here are some updates on the most well-known spots you might visit during your trip to Cambodia. Remember to double-check before heading over as some places are closed during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Cambodia is a country on the Indochinese mainland of Southeast Asia. Cambodia is largely a land of plains and great rivers. It lies amid important overland and river trade routes linking China to India and Southeast Asia. The influences of many Asian cultures, alongside those of France and of the United States, can be seen in the capital, Phnom Penh- one of a handful of urban centers in this largely rural country.

1. Angkor Wat

Foreign visitors are rare as global lockdowns and quarantines – prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic – limit visits to the hardy few who opted to remain in Cambodia as the pandemic took hold. In a way, it’s a blessing for the Cambodians who cherish the 8th to 12th century temples and ruins at Angkor Wat. The site’s history is centered around the foundation of Khmer society- a key reference point for survival during a bleak and bloody 30-year civil war. As the lockdown in Cambodia ended, there were no conga lines of buses, legions of Chinese with colored flags, Westerners in loud T-shirts and cargo pants, or lengthy queues that in recent years have turned this sacred site better suited to field trips, resembling a fun park for the great unwashed from abroad. Instead it was the Cambodians who rode push bikes and whose children played in sand pits; some prayed at thousand year-old Buddhist shrines, others fished in the moats, hiked over great walls, and strolled through tropical forests, which had once threatened to devour a work started by Suryavarman II.

Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia (Photo by Kristen Sturdivant on Unsplash)
Angkor Wat , Siem Reap, Cambodia (Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash)

2. Phnom Penh

The Cambodian government has taken additional measures to curb the country’s latest outbreak of COVID-19, including giving power to provincial and municipal authorities to close shops that do not adhere to public health protocols, imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers entering the country, and controversial moves such as publishing the names of people infected with the coronavirus. The latest incidence of COVID-19 outbreak led the government to again close schools in the capital of Phnom Penh and limit gatherings to no more than 20 people. Prior to this latest outbreak, the country had a COVID-19 scare in which government officials — including the prime minister — went into quarantine after the Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, who visited the country on Nov. 3, tested positive for COVID-19.

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Photo by René DeAnda on Unsplash)

3. Battambang

For history fans, the temples of Phnom Sampeau, Phnom Banan, and Wat Ek Phnom are all within day-tripping distance, while the famed Bamboo – a single-line rail track where “carriages” made from a platform of wood and bamboo travel between Battambang’s east bank and the tiny village of O Srav – is one of the most popular activities for visitors. Battambang itself is a rather sleepy city compared to the buzz of the capital, with a central district brimming with colonial buildings. For those who found Phnom Penh’s hectic buzz a bit too much to handle, Battambang is a thoroughly approachable town to use as a base. Battambang will receive a new COVID-19 detection machine, as well as a new building that will serve as the provincial hospital in the fight against the pandemic. The Battambang Provincial Hospital will host a new extension to its building as part of a project sponsored by the Japanese government. The province also plans to install competent COVID-19 testing equipment at the Battambang Provincial Referral Hospital. This testing equipment is expected to collect samples from people residing in the northwestern areas of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pailin and Pursat province.

Banan Mountain, Battambang Province, Battambang, Cambodia (Photo by Ith Ma on Unsplash)

4. Banteay Chhmar

For a touch of Indiana Jones-style temple exploring, you can’t beat Banteay Chhmar. This mammoth temple complex sits consumed by surrounding jungle in Cambodia’s lonely northwest, providing the perfect opportunity to discover the highlights without the crowds. It was built by the 12th-century Angkorian king Jayavarman VII, and the remarkable stone reliefs along its walls are some of the most intricately detailed you’ll see in the country. In particular, the spectacular bas reliefs depicting Avalokiteśvara on the south wall and the dizzying array of battle scenes depicted on the eastern walls are prime examples of the Angkorian era’s artistry.

Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia (Photo by Hao Taing on Unsplash)
Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia (Photo by Hao Taing on Unsplash)

Travel may increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus. These are also places where it can be hard to maintain proper social distancing measures. If you are really going to travel, take steps before, during, and after your trip to keep yourself and others from getting COVID-19. Travelers should avoid all travels. However, if you must travel, make sure to talk to your doctor ahead of time, especially if you are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Staying home is the best way to protect yourself; avoid unnecessary travel

Here are some travel tips and guides for you if you plan to travel during this time:

  • U.S. airports and major airlines report that they are following CDC guidelines for sanitizing public surfaces: cleaning with disinfectant all check-in kiosks, ticket counters, gate seating — among other frequently touched areas — multiple times a day, and providing hand sanitizer throughout ticket and boarding areas.
  • Passengers are allowed to bring liquid hand sanitizer in containers up to 12 ounces in carry-on bags; previously, liquids could be in containers no bigger than 3.4 ounces. Passengers can board flights with driver’s licenses that expired beginning March 1, 2020, “to use it as an acceptable ID at checkpoints for one year after expiration date, plus 60 days after the COVID-19 national emergency.” (This is because some people have been unable to renew their licenses because of the outbreak.)
  • You now have until October 1, 2021 before you’ll need a security-enhanced Real ID instead of a regular driver’s license in order to get through airport security. This deadline was delayed by a year.
  • The airlines are doing what they can to prevent infection, including requiring passengers and crew to wear masks, beefing up disinfection procedures, and boarding passengers from the back of the plane to the front. Some are blocking middle seats to enable social distancing. (Delta says that it will do so to at least March 2021.) They point to a Harvard University report published last month declaring that travel during the pandemic is less risky than going to a grocery store. Researchers from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found “a relatively very low risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] while flying,” thanks to air-filtering systems and requirements that passengers wear masks.
  • Wearing your mask not only protects you from catching COVID-19, it also prevents you from spreading the virus to other people if you are ill and are not aware of it. And while you may not have severe symptoms, someone else on your flight could be at high risk for developing severe complications while ill with COVID-19. It’s best to think of wearing a mask as a social contract between you and everyone else on your flight. During a pandemic, it’s simply the right thing to do.
  • Spread out while waiting for your flight. On the plane, you can’t really do anything about the fact that you’re in close quarters. However, it should be fairly easy to keep your distance while you’re in the terminal. Avoid the “it’s all a risk” mentality, and use the time between waiting at the security line and boarding your flight as your best opportunity to reduce the risks you’re going to encounter on your travel day. While waiting to board your plane, keep six feet of distance between yourself and others as often as possible — even if that means sitting at a less crowded gate until just before your flight. And, keep in mind, six feet may be farther than you think.
Maintain social distancing- stay at least 6 feet apart- at all times, especially when inside the aircraft cabin

Last but not the least, as a friendly reminder, remember to wash your hands frequently and wear your masks at all times! Don’t forget to maintain social distancing measures when out in public. We hope you stay safe and healthy as we all await for our planet to recover and regain its healthy atmosphere!

Wash your hands frequently
Maintain social distancing at all times

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