A COVID-19 outbreak in Cambodia has pushed government officials to temporarily close the Angkor temple complex, the country’s most popular tourist destination. By Jessica Poitevien
The two-week closure is the latest of many safety measures recently put in place since Cambodia began experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases in February. The Apsara Authority, the government agency that oversees the Angkor temple complex, said that temporarily stopping all tourists from visiting the archaeological site was an important step in curbing the spread of the virus, the Associated Press reports. All visitors—both local and foreign—are prohibited from visiting the temples now through April 20, 2021.
Cambodia currently allows international tourists to enter the country, but visitors are required to undergo a mandatory quarantine before freely moving around. According to the Associated Press, the Health Ministry reported late last week that Cambodia had seen 113 new local cases and two deaths, all traced back to a foreign resident who violated quarantine rules in a hotel and went to a nightclub in early February.
On Feb. 20, the government announced a planned two-week closure of all public schools, movie theatres, bars, and entertainment venues in the capital, Phnom Penh. Closures were then extended throughout the country for schools, gyms, concert halls, museums, and other gathering places.
The use of face masks is now mandatory in Phnom Penh, and at the beginning of this month, a two-week curfew from 8 pm to 5 am was also put in place in the capital. Four of Cambodia’s most densely populated provinces are also enforcing mask mandates. In addition, authorities have implemented stricter, criminal punishments for violations of these safety protocols.
With a population of about 17 million, Cambodia has decided to broaden its vaccine campaign, with the goal of inoculating one million people per month starting in April. According to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Cambodia has recorded a total of 3,028 cases, including 23 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.