Cambodia limits Festival of the Dead as Covid numbers spike

Siem Reap locked down, booze bans extended but authorities talk up tourism.

Authorities in Cambodia have limited the annual Pchum Ben festival amid a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, with the disease detected in more than half of the capital’s pagodas despite a rapid rollout of the vaccination program.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said saving lives was more important than the 15-day celebration when Khmer families gather in home villages and pagodas to commemorate their ancestors in the Festival of the Dead.

Pagodas are to be avoided but authorities are encouraging people to visit ecotourism resorts instead.

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