While Cambodia has officially registered only 141 cases of Covid-19 and no deaths, the Kingdom of Wonders has put in place a whole arsenal of measures for people entering the country, from screening tests to quarantine and the payment of a caution. Cambodia tourism is to suffer hard losses.
To enter Cambodia today, foreign nationals must have an insurance certificate covering $50,000 of expenses, be screened for COVID beforehand and have a certificate of non-contamination, written in English, dated less than 72 hours before arrival.
At the airport, these documents are checked and the traveler is screened again at his/her own expense ($100). The traveler is then taken to a hotel to await the results. If all the passengers on the flight test negative, they can leave the hotel, but only to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine, after which a new test is conducted. If a passenger tests positive, this quarantine takes place at the hotel under the supervision of the authorities and at the expense of the traveler.
Since 15 June, foreigners have also been required to pay a deposit of $3,000 to cover the additional costs of quarantine if it is carried out under the supervision of the authorities, as well as the cost of treatment if the visitor were to contract the virus. Even the cost of cremation in the event of death.
Cambodia still has to be accessible. Only a few flights via South Korea or China allow it today. Moreover, the Cambodian authorities confirm that they do not issue tourist visas. The procedures for issuing visas online or on arrival also remain suspended.
Expatriates and local visitors are therefore the only ones who can travel to Siem Reap, a town renowned for the Angkor temples nearby. They come to enjoy a unique experience: wandering around the empty temples.
While this prospect is a dream come true, the few curious ones are not enough to keep the Cambodia tourism industry going on the spot. In April 2020, Angkor Park, which covers 400 km2, had only 654 foreign visitors compared to 185,405 in April 2019. Of the 600,000 people working in Cambodia tourism sector, at least 45,000 are now unemployed. Many hotels, restaurants, shops and guides have suspended their activities, especially in Siem Reap. Some permanently.
Recent measures, such as the caution, have further discouraged those in the industry who were hoping for a relaxation of restrictions on travelers. Some hotels had a few reservations for August, but they were all cancelled with the new measures. It is impossible to make medium- or long-term predictions.