Cambodia Decides to Temporarily Close Border with Viet Nam to Contain COVID-19 Spread

AKP Phnom Penh, March 19, 2020 —

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFA-IC) of the Kingdom of Cambodia has issued a diplomatic note to the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in Phnom Penh over Cambodia’s decision to temporarily close its border with Viet Nam to prevent the Spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the spirit of friendship and mutual understanding with regard to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, Cambodia wishes to request Viet Nam authorities to inform Viet Nam nationals not to travel to Cambodia by land, water way and air during the active period of Viet Nam’s travel restrictions, which took effect from 00h00 of March 18, 2020,” said the diplomatic note AKP received this morning.

The MFA-IC also stated that the above request is made to avoid inconvenience at the two countries’ border checkpoints, in light of the recent spike of confirmed cases of COVID-19, while Viet Nam has imposed travel restrictions requiring 14-day mass quarantine and self-quarantine of all travelers from ASEAN countries, including Vietnamese who return home.

Entry by Vietnamese nationals into Cambodia and Cambodian nationals into Viet Nam by land, water way and air will be temporarily suspended, effective from 23h59 of March 20, 2020. This measure is primarily aims to avert the inconvenience of quarantine requirement for both Vietnamese and Cambodian nationals who travel to Viet Nam from Cambodia, it added.

According to the diplomatic note, the above measure does not apply to Vietnamese and Cambodian holders of diplomatic and official passports.

Cambodian side proposes that the local authorities of two countries work together to facilitate and ensure that the transport of goods across the common border can be carried out without disruption, it continued.

“Cambodian side requests the local authorities of Viet Nam to facilitate the repatriation to Cambodia of all Cambodian nationals, if any, currently placed under quarantine in Viet Nam,” it underlined.

Cambodia has now recorded 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19, but almost all of them are imported cases.

World Health Organisation reported 207,860 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 8,657 deaths in 166 countries and territories around the world. Of the total confirmed cases, 61 are in Viet Nam.

By Khan Sophirom