Cambodia likely to reopen borders in November

NagaWorld casino closed its doors in March.
NagaWorld casino closed its doors in March.

Authorities in Cambodia hope to reopen the country’s borders in November amid efforts to increase the vaccination rate.

Cambodia.- The government of Cambodia has said that it hopes to reopen the country’s borders in November, although some believe that could be delayed until December or early 2022. 

A week ago, the government suspended entries and exits with Vietnam in an attempt to avoid a rise in Covid-19 cases. The news impacted casino operators as casinos in Cambodia mostly employ Vietnamese citizens.

Under new rules, Vietnamese employees that are currently in Cambodia cannot return home, while those in Vietnam cannot enter Cambodia. 

There are only exceptions for patients seeking medical treatment in Vietnam and diplomats or officials under a mission at the invitation of either country’s authorities.

According to Khmer Times, a source from the government stated: “Without tourism, the economy is going to dry up because locals do not have the same money as people coming in from outside the country.”

In the meantime, the government is aiming to increase the number of people vaccinated. The capital Phnom Penh has claimed a 100 per cent vaccination rate, causing some to speculate that it could be the ideal location for the country’s first travel bubble.

However, this week it was announced that venues, including NagaWorld casino would be closed for another two weeks.

NagaWorld, the only casino resort authorised to operate in Phnom Penh, suspended operations in March after 11 staff members tested positive for Covid-19.

In June, NagaCorp, the company that operates the casino, reported that it expects to recover by 2022 as long as NagaWorld resumes operations in the second half of 2021. It said NagaCorp’s revenue could reach 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels if NagaWorld reopened in the next few months. 

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Covid-19 land-based casino