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Beer gardens ordered to be shuttered to stem COVID-19

Som Kanika & Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:
A Phnom Penh's beer garden which closed it door "temporarily".​ KT/Pann Rachana

The Tourism Ministry yesterday issued a directive for the indefinite closure of beer gardens across the Kingdom in a bid to quell rising COVID-19 figures.

“The Ministry of Tourism wishes to inform Municipal and Provincial Governors that in order to jointly prevent [new cases], they must temporarily close all beer gardens in Phnom Penh and the provinces from March 25,” the directive said.

The Kingdom currently has 96 confirmed coronavirus disease cases, with the latest being two French nationals in Sihanoukville.

“With or without customers, all KTVs and beer gardens shall remain closed until the COVID-19 situation is better,” Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak said. “The government measure is to prevent cases from spreading.”

Owner of Happy Hour Restaurant who goes only by Sambath yesterday told Khmer Times he understands why the decision was made.

Mr Sambath said pubs, bars and beer gardens must collectively contribute to the prevention of new COVID-19 cases.

“These places are venues for social gathering and public enjoyment,” he said. “We seek happiness, but we also want safety for our customers.”

“We totally understand this temporary measure,” Mr Sambath said, noting he has been in the business for almost a decade.

A manager of La Fancy Beer Garden who asked not to be named said: “I believe the situation will be better soon if we listen first and act accordingly to what the experts advise. I hope cases here will not reach numbers like in Italy and other countries.”

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