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Local airports slump as extreme restrictions continue

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Extreme restrictions in place at Phnom Penh International Airport have caused a 96 percent reduction in passenger numbers. KT/Siv Channa

Cambodia’s airline industry continues to be severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of passengers flying in and out of the Kingdom’s three international airports drops by 96 percent on a daily average basis.

Of those passengers that continue to enter the country, the majority are from Chinese cities and South Korea, as few other international air carriers continue routes, due to extreme travel restrictions in various parts of the world continuing.

Norinda Khek, the communication and PR director of Cambodia Airports, told Khmer Times that this month’s average daily flights for all three airports totalled around six or seven and are mostly domestic.

“From April 1 to 27, there is now only a daily average of 524 passengers in contrast to the 31,410 for the same period last year,” Khek said.

Chea Aun, spokesperson for State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, told Khmer Times that for those passengers flying in and out of Cambodia, they are all required to do a temperature check by government officers and the immigration police.

They also have to show a medical certificate and insurance with a minimum medical coverage during their intended stay of no less than $50,000. In addition, they will be subject to a mandatory two-week quarantine or any other measures for the prevention and containment of this virus as prescribed by the Ministry of Health of Cambodia.

“They [the immigration police] are strictly implementing these measures. They go through all passenger documents before they will allow them to enter Cambodia,” Aun said.

To prevent the further spread of the virus in Cambodia, the Ministry of Health has decided to extend the temporary suspension of travel into Cambodia for foreigners from France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain and the United States, according to the statement of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

All current travel restrictions and suspensions shall continue to apply until the situation of COVID-19 is relieved, based on the joint assessment between the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a statement dated March 27, any foreigner wishing to travel to the Kingdom of Cambodia must obtain a visa from Cambodian missions abroad. It added that the medical certificate provided must be issued by competent health authorities of their country no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel, certifying that they have not tested positive for COVID-19.

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