PHNOM PENH, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Sunday removed its ban on travelers from 10 African countries after a nearly one-week suspension due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said.
With the approval from Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the Ministry of Health (MoH) decided to lift the ban on travelers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola and Zambia, he said, adding that the ban removal took effect immediately.
But the travelers from the 10 countries and those who have a history of traveling to the 10 countries in the last two weeks must undergo a rapid test for COVID-19 upon their arrival in Cambodia, he said.
"If the result is negative, they must go into a seven-day quarantine and then take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on the sixth day of the quarantine," the minister said.
Fully vaccinated travelers must show a medical certificate certifying that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to their arrival in Cambodia, he said, adding that unvaccinated passengers will be required to undergo a full 14-day quarantine.
The reversal came after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that he was deeply concerned about the isolation of southern African countries due to the Omicron variant travel restrictions.
The Omicron variant, first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on Nov. 24, has not yet been detected in Cambodia.
Cambodia reported 24 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, pushing the national total caseload to 120,256, the MoH said, adding that four more fatalities have been confirmed, bringing the overall death toll to 2,960. Enditem