Commentary: How is Cambodia last to lock down yet first few to reopen in in Southeast Asia?

There are huge economic pressures for the kingdom to reopen after COVID-19-induced travel restrictions have had crushing effects on Cambodia’s tourism industry, says a Cambodia researcher.

Cambodia is accelerating its re-opening to global trade and travel by lifting quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers with negative test results from Nov 15 – the first ASEAN country to do so.

The decision follows two weeks of rapid-fire administrative directives resulting in the re-opening of schools and universities, resumption of flights to the kingdom, and an economic “return to normal” with mask, social distancing, and vaccination requirements in place starting from Nov 1.

On Nov 15, Phnom Penh residents woke up to the city’s notorious traffic congestion — something unseen since a February community event that saw the largest COVID-19 community outbreak in the country and led to strict lockdown measures in April.

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