As the world eagerly awaits reopening, it appears that Cambodia has a different approach to how it will welcome the recommencement of tourism. Though not intentionally trying to discourage tourists from visiting, they are definitely not making it financially viable for the average traveller. The government announced that visitors will be required to pay a US$3,000 ‘coronavirus deposit’. In addition to this they will be asked for proof of health insurance of at least US$50,000. The reasoning being that should a visitor become infected with the virus, the country will not be out of pocket.
In a time of financial hardships this bid to prevent a second wave of transmission may scare off the budget conscious traveller as the $3,000 deposit must be paid on arrival. Though the initial cost of this ‘admission’ to the country is greater than the deposit on some ferrari rental companies, there is some reasoning behind the jaw-dropping charge.
According to the Ministry of Health there are numerous costs involved. The mandatory COVID-19 testing procedure costs roughly US$160 which includes travel and accommodation while awaiting the results. Should you test negative the remainder of the deposit will be refunded.
Though out of your control, should you be unlucky enough to have someone on the same flight as you test positive, you can expect a minimum of US$1,200 deducted from your deposit. This deduction will cover your compulsory 2 week quarantine at the designated accommodation. Should you test positive US$330 per day will be deducted to cover hospital bills.
In the worst case scenario if death resulted from the disease US$1,500 will be used for cremation. On the brighter side – to date there have been 129 confirmed coronavirus cases with no deaths thus far.
Though personally I have a strong desire to get back and explore Cambodia again some day, I just checked my bank account and one thing is certain. I for now, will be staying home.