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New procedures to expedite business-linked travel to Cambodia

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
The main departures hall at Phnom Penh International Airport during better days. KT/Khem Sovannara

The government will soon introduce a new procedure to make it easier for business people traveling to Cambodia, said Meas Sok Sensan, spokesman of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

He told Khmer Times the government will implement the procedure for business-linked travelers, including investors, directors, general managers, technical staff and their family members.

He added the companies can sponsor or guarantee them. “The application for sponsorship or guarantee can be done online. Then, an approval letter with a QR Code will be issued which the company can send to the traveler (s) prior to their trip,” he said.

Sok Sensan added that MEF totally supports these fast new procedures to be put in place.

According to the MEF, the current procedure for business-linked travelers to pay a $3,000 deposit and have a $50,000 insurance would be waived.

However, the 72 hours ‘COVID-19 free’ health certificate remains in place. On arrival, after normal immigration checks, travelers will be guided to take the COVID-19 test. The results of the test will be known in about 8 hours.

It added travelers can pre-book their hotel accommodation for the first night. The Ministry of Health will give a list of the assigned hotels.

A $160 fee related to swab tests, meals and transport to the hotel will be included in the first night’s fee. If the test comes out negative, travelers have to sequester for 14 days at a venue of their choice. If they are tested positive, they will be sent for treatment and the company will have to foot the bill.

The new procedure is expected to be operational next week. MEF is trying its best to make this happen as soon as possible, said Sok Sensan.

Van David, local entrepreneur, said this is the new normal and no country can escape it.

COVID-19 is here to stay so the onus rests on individual countries to learn how to manage it, identify clusters of infection, contain and treat them on a case to case basis, he said.

“Travel measures need to be customised to address the new normal as flights gradually resume for essential travel. However, it is not quite ready for the return of mass tourism, until a cure or vaccine is developed,” he added.

Sin Chansereyvutha, spokesman of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said he was not aware of the meeting as his institution was not invited to join. He said it was a technical meeting between the officials of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Ministry of Health.

He said Prime Minister Hun Sen has approved in principle to waive the $3,000 deposit and $50,000 insurance for investors, business people and experts. However, the working group of both Ministries have to discuss further to do a check and balance whether the loosening of the measure will impact public health.

“Where SSCA is concerned, we will wait for the implementation of the procedure,” he added.

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