Cambodia to temporarily close borders with Vietnam amid Covid-19 cases

The temporary border closure will start on July 18.
The temporary border closure will start on July 18.

Cambodian authorities have decided to close the country’s borders with Vietnam for one month in order to curb the spread of Covid-19 cases.

Cambodia.- The government of Cambodia has announced it will suspend entries and exits with Vietnam in an attempt to avoid a rise in Covid-19 cases.

The measure will be taken from July 18 for at least one month. The news will impact on casino operators as casinos in Cambodia mostly employ Vietnamese citizens.

Under new rules, Vietnamese employees that are currently in Cambodia will not be able to return home, while those in Vietnam cannot enter Cambodia. 

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

As Vietnamese citizens are only permitted to enter two casinos: one on the southern island of Phu Quoc and the other in Van Don, in the northern province of Quang Ninh, Vietnamese gamblers usually cross borders to enter Cambodian casinos.

In June, the Ministry of Finance proposed an extension of the scheme that allows Vietnamese citizens to gamble at selected casinos until 2024 but authorities stated they won’t expand the scheme to other casino operators.

The government has tight restrictions on who can enter the properties: players must be aged over 21 and earn a minimum of VND$10m (US$430) a month. Players must also have no criminal record and no objections from their families.

The scheme was to be reviewed next year, but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of tourism have led authorities to extend the permission on locals’ access to casinos until 2024. The proposal must be reviewed by the country’s prime minister.

In March, casino operators asked the government to expand Vietnamese citizens’ access to casinos in major tourism destinations such as Quang Nam and Ba Ria-Vung Tau to help casinos face the loss of revenue from tourists owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

According to local media reports, Vietnam reported 2,830 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

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