Cambodia ends quarantine for vaccinated arrivals to revive tourism

People ride a ferry at sunset on the Mekong River in Phnom Penh
People ride a ferry at sunset on the Mekong River, amid a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, August 12, 2021. REUTERS/Cindy Liu/File Photo

PHNOM PENH, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Cambodia became the latest country in Asia on Monday to end strict quarantine and travel measures for vaccinated arrivals, giving hope to businesses in the pandemic-hit tourism industry.

The Southeast Asian country eased travel and entry curbs after 18 months for vaccinated travellers, following similar steps from neighbouring Thailand and Indonesia’s Bali.

"This is a good decision because when more tourists return then I can sell more of my things and feed my children," said 75-year-old Men Vanna, who owns a painting and souvenir shop.

"More tourists coming into the country the better for my business."

Last year, Cambodia welcomed 1.3 million foreign arrivals, with tourism receipts of about $1 billion, government data showed. That compared to 6.6 million arrivals and $4.9 billion in 2019.

Restaurants were also readying hygiene measures for customers.

"I am also preparing the safety measure here in front of my restaurant like alcohol spray, temperature checks," said Heang Sarith, 42, adding he was updating his menu at his pizza shop in anticipation of customers.

International travellers know Cambodia best for the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap province.

Arrivals will have to show a negative COVID-19 test result and be tested.

Cambodia has vaccinated nearly 90% of its more than 16 million people, one of Asia's highest inoculation rates.

Reporting by Chanta Lach, writing by Chayut Setboonsarng, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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