Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia's Bali have removed quarantine for vaccinated visitors in recent weeks, paving the way for a wider reopening their tourism industries. Now Cambodia is doing the same, as coronavirus curbs continue to wind down across the region.

Initially Cambodia had planned to reopen the country to tourists in phases. But Prime Minister Hun Sen surprised international media on Sunday by announcing the entire country would open up to tourists from Monday, November 15 and quarantine would end for all vaccinated arrivals.

As one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, with 88% of the population inoculated against COVID-19, officials feel like now is the right time to escalate tourism plans. "This is a quick way to re-open the country and facilitate travel for our people," Hun Sen said on Sunday per Reuters.

Read more: Malaysia partially reopens to international tourists today

Cambodia, Siem Reap, driving tuk tuk
Cambodia still requires unvaccinated arrivals to quarantine © Westend61 / Getty

To enter Cambodia, visitors must show proof of full vaccination and take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 72 hours of traveling there, in addition to taking a rapid test upon arrival. "You just need to wait 15-20 minutes for the rapid test results and then you can continue your journey to any place across the entire country with no limitations, however you wish,” Hun Sen said via the Phnom Penh Post.

Those who are unvaccinated will continue to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.

Read more: Thailand reopens to vaccinated tourists today under new 'Test-and-Go' plan

Cambodia was one of the rare coronavirus success stories by largely managing to keep the virus at bay last year, recording zero COVID 19-related deaths in 2020. But numbers spiked last February and as a result, Cambodia meticulously guarded its borders by imposing strict quarantine for visitors and returning citizens.

But as case numbers decrease and the successful vaccination campaign continues, most pandemic curbs have now been lifted in the nation of 16 million. But the virus is still spreading and as tourists return, they're asked to adhere to domestic COVID-19 measures such as wearing masks in public and respecting social distancing guidelines. Proof of vaccination may be required in some venues in Cambodia, particularly in Phnom Penh. Land borders with Laos, Thailand and Vietnam remain closed for now.

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This article was first published Oct 27, 2021 and updated Nov 15, 2021.

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