Cambodia is open for tourists- but there’s a catch July 2, 2020 Cambodia is open to tourists again- but there's a catch Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia never completely closed its borders. However, despite remaining open, as of early July 2020, there has only been 141 reported cases and ZERO deaths. So is it safe to go to Cambodia? And how complicated is it to get in? 0 Total cases 0 Total Deaths 0 Active Cases A US$3000 deposit on arrival The Ministry of Health in Cambodia have confirmed the new rules for entry into the country. Prior to arrival, all travellers must have tested negative to COVID-19 within the previous 72 hours. On arrival, all travellers must pay a deposit of US$3000 by either cash or credit card. In addition, travellers must also have US$50,000 worth of travel insurance. What happens when the plane lands? Once you’ve touched down, you’ll be cleared through customs and immigration (assuming you have the right documentation) and be transported ($5) to a COVID-19 testing centre. Along with the other passengers on the plane, you will take another test ($100). Whilst waiting for the test results, you’ll be moved to a nearby hotel ($30) with your fellow passengers. It’s a 24 hour wait and three meals are provided ($30). You’ll also pay $5 per day for medical surveillance and $3 for security. If you need your laundry done, it’ll be $15.Assuming you and your fellow passengers are all negative, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days, reporting to a medical facility every day. On the 13th day, you will need to take another test ($100). A negative test will give you a health certificate ($30) that will allow you to leave the country. What if you or are a fellow passenger are tested positive? Should your test be negative, but somebody else on the plane comes back positive, then the entire passenger list will need to be quarantined in the hotel. This comes at a total cost of $1280, including meals. If you’re tested positive, then you won’t be lonely in quarantine as you’ll have a bunch of new ‘friends’ with you. Should you be quite ill, you’ll be taken to hospital at a cost of $210 per day. If things get really bad and you die, your funeral is covered for $1500.The government has released an official document detailing the costs here. What does this all mean? Well, it seems that although the country is open to foreigners, the invitation is not exactly jumping off the page.It will be interesting to see how many, if any, tourists come through to Cambodia over the next few weeks and months while these conditions apply. We would think it might only be foreigners who call Cambodia home that will go to the trouble. Even though the chances may be small of being in forced hotel quarantine, it’s not a risk people will take if they don’t need to. What’s happened to the tourism industry? Angkor Wat is still open every day but you could count the visitors on one hand. There’s a large number of local tour guides that are out of work. Hotels across the city are largely empty and have had to lay off staff, whilst many restaurants that have always catered to tourists have had to pivot and market towards a domestic guest. Although these guests are few and far between and rarely have the same head spend as foreigners. What are the choices for the locals? It’s a difficult situation. The government does not have the funds to support people out of work and the amount of job opportunities has drastically reduced. Particularly around tourism. Social Cycles have been supporting our local team but that is just a handful of people. Some locals are forced to return back to their rural villages and simply go back to basics. This includes local farming, hoping to provide enough food to eat and potentially trade for other goods.The hardest part about this situation is that nobody knows when we will get through the other side, with spikes of COVID-19 happening all over the world. Only time will tell the fate of the locals in Cambodia. It is a stark reminder about the positive contributions travel can make to local economies and the harsh reality of what can happen when it is suddenly taken away. Share the journey Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on whatsapp Share on email Feeling inspired? 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