Cambodia throws the gauntlet at ASEAN as it obliterates entry restrictions
Khmer Times mon, November 15, 2021
Cambodia has set the standard for other ASEAN member states to look into quarantine free travels across borders as it lifted quarantine restrictions for all fully vaccinated travellers arriving at its land, sea and air checkpoints from today.
This abrupt decision put other ASEAN member states at a quandary as beside Thailand, almost every other member state requires quarantine for arriving travelers, and many have not even opened their borders for foreign passport holders to enter their country.
This drastic but most pleasant announcement, made by none other than the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen yesterday, is a right step in uniting families, kick-starting travel, tourism and other cross border activities not only within ASEAN but across all borders.
Cambodia has also set the gold standard by recognizing any vaccine as long as the arriving passenger has a certificate, physical or electronic to proof he or she has been fully vaccinated while many other nations ponder over valid vaccines or that approved by the World Health Organisation for emergency use.
Cambodia, one stroke of the pen, or rather through one voice message, torn the formbook by showing it may be poor bit it indeed has a golden big heart and has shown the world that it is prepared to open the country and believes in itself the efficacy of its vaccination programme and its ability to reign in the SARS‐CoV‐2 and its variants.
It sets benchmark, saw the success and moved on with the opening up of the country.
All the more amazing is the fact that arriving travelers need not even have to undergo a PCR test but just a rapid test to enjoy this amazing country.
Now nations and airlines must take advantage of this gesture, mount flights without delay, minimise or remove quarantine restrictions at least for countries which have a very high vaccination rate and which has taken sufficient measures to ensure the safety of arriving passengers, though there are no 100 percent guarantees.
Cambodians, just like their fellow nationals among other Asean nations want and yearn to travel and Cambodia’s actions and moves are steps to be emulated and taken as the first steps towards an ASEAN travel bubble, often talked about but never implemented.
Cross border travel means substantial foreign exchange earnings and opening up national borders for fully vaccinated without quarantine will drive tourism and family travels, among others.
Asean nations, like that in other regions have long been starved of tourism dollars and now is the time to open up, lift border restrictions and enable a truly free Asean, at least, travel bonanza.
SOURCE: Khmer Times, Cambodia Mon, November 15, 2021