Disclaimer: The findings guided below are solely based on the writer’s personal experience, evidenced by official sources. It is fairly generalised, but such entry requirements are not permanent and may be subject to change. Prior to travelling, it is encouraged that travellers keep up to date with the latest travel advice from their government, embassy, or consulate.
Many people travel to challenge their comfort zones. Some people travel to gain new perspectives of life. While others travel to admire the natural beauty of Mother Nature. There are a myriad of reasons explaining why people travel. Situated in South East Asia, and spanning the Mekong Delta, Cambodia is a small nation rich in culture, history and beauty.
Travelling to Cambodia will most certainly satisfy the many elements of why people travel. Immersing yourself in the common Cambodian lifestyle solidifies the proposition of not only visiting a place but being there – living there.
The difficulty of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions to the previously tranquil process of travels to Cambodia. It has also interfered with the full experience of travelling to Cambodia. To minimise the exposure of COVID-19, there are many law reforms in regard to travel and increasing legal requirements that must be met.
This guide will aim to definitively provide all the information you will need to know by aiming to answer three principal questions:
(1) Who can travel to Cambodia?
(2) What are the documents and certificates required before entering Cambodia?
(3) What is the arrival procedure for travellers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?
1. Who can travel to Cambodia?
International Travel Reinstated
In consequence of the vaccine rollout success, the Cambodian Ministry of Health gave the green light for international travel after more than 88% of Cambodia’s population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
From the 15th November 2021, the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism announced that fully vaccinated travellers entering Cambodia by Air, Land, and Water through international gateways can enter without undertaking quarantine.
The rules however, are different for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
a. Fully Vaccinated Travellers
- Can enter Cambodia without undertaking quarantine
- Must provide evidence of two doses of vaccine on arrival
b. Non-Vaccinated Travellers
- Can enter Cambodia, but must undertake 14 days of quarantine
2. What are the documents and certificates required before entering Cambodia?
As a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and limit the unpleasant delays, Cambodia is currently not issuing tourist visas on arrival. However, applications for e-visas are now available for interested travellers online. The detailed steps to be completed are present on this website. Conditions may be subject to change, therefore, it is advised that interested travellers continuously check for the latest information.
On the other hand, in countries like Australia, interested travellers may apply for the Cambodian visa at the Cambodian embassy in Canberra.
This is specific to Australia only, please check with your local Cambodian Embassy if the visa can be completed there, prior to your trip.
Relevant Documents and Certificates
a. Legitimate Certificate or Full COVID-19 Vaccination Card
Travellers must have and show proof of vaccination upon arrival. The proof must be a legitimate certificate approved by the traveller’s host government.
Many countries will have a vaccination certificate they must use domestically upon entering public or private places. Some countries however, may have a declared International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate mandatory to provide prior to flying out.
Nonetheless, a legitimate certificate or legitimate proof of vaccination should be accepted regardless.
b. Negative COVID-19 PCR Test
To enter Cambodia, travellers must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in English. The result must be released at least 72 hours before arrival in Cambodia.
As discussed above, the test must be undertaken by a nationally recognised and legitimate facilitator of the host country.
Proof of Insurance
For their stay in Cambodia, travellers must provide proof of medical insurance with a minimum coverage of $50,000 USD. For $90 USD, COVID insurance for a 20-day term can also be conveniently obtained at the Phnom Penh Airport upon arrival.
This can be purchased from the Insurance Consortium represented by Forte Insurance.
3. What is the arrival procedure for travellers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?
Passengers are escorted to the arrival checks. They are lined up in rows where airport officials will go through the required certificates and documents, and entry forms filled prior to arrival.
This could be a lengthy period due to the amount of passengers filling their forms in correctly or incorrectly.
Similar to the pre-Covid procedure of arriving in Phnom Penh Airport, visas are checked singularly by officials through facial identification. Affirmed visas are stamped and passengers will proceed to the next step.
This is usually quite a short procedure depending on the amount of officials available at the desk.
Baggage collection often occurs once the regular checks have been completed.
On-Site COVID Tests
This section provides important information on the procedures that ensue depending on the traveller’s vaccination status:
Fully Vaccinated Travellers
Upon arrival, fully vaccinated travellers must take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test. They are to wait roughly between 15-30 minutes for the result.
- If the Rapid Test is positive, the passenger will be subjected to a PCR test
- If the PCR test is positive, treatment is required
- If the PCR test comes back negative, the passenger must quarantine for seven days. On the sixth day of quarantine, another PCR test will be performed.
It’s worth noting that international travelers must arrange a hotel for the seven-day quarantine period. If the passenger does not book a hotel, they must deposit $1000 at the bank counter to cover all expenses throughout the quarantine period of seven days.
- If the Rapid Test is negative, the passenger is free to travel throughout Cambodia freely without ‘regional restriction, provinces, cities and quarantine’.
Non-vaccinated travellers are required to firstly complete a PCR test, then undertake the standard 14-day quarantine at a place designated by the Ministry of Health or local authorities. It is often a sizable cost that passengers must cover themselves.
These are some of the following hotels on offer:
- Raffles Hotel Le Royal PP
- Courtyard by Marriott Hotel
- Sokha Hotel & Residence
- Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
After satisfying the above requirements, travellers may be able to explore, understand, and indulge in the richness of Cambodia. In alignment with most of the world’s countries, Cambodia aims to open its borders and implement strategies to safely transition into a world where COVID-19 becomes a permanent aspect of our lives.