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Cambodia Bars Entry to Travelers from 10 African Countries

FILE - A masked man walks out of an area of the scan at the quiet Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, April 3, 2020.

Cambodia has barred entry to travelers from 10 African countries, citing the threat from the new omicron coronavirus variant.

The move, announced in a Health Ministry statement issued late Monday, came just two weeks after Cambodia reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers.

The Health Ministry said the entry ban included anyone who has spent time in the previous three weeks in any of the 10 listed countries, including South Africa where the variant was first reported. Other countries include Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola and Zambia.

No date was set for lifting the new restriction.

Municipal authorities in the capital of Phnom Penh on Tuesday announced that adult entertainment venues such as karaoke parlors, bars and nightclubs were allowed to resume operating immediately, according to the state news agency AKP. Such businesses are categorized as high-risk.

Cambodia reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers on Nov. 15, allowing visitors to skip quarantine measures if they are fully vaccinated, test negative 72 hours before they enter the country and test negative upon their arrival.

Buoyed by the fact that about 88% of Cambodians are now fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered the reopening two weeks earlier than planned in order to start revitalizing the country’s economy as soon as possible. Cambodia, like most other Southeast Asian nations, earns a large amount of revenue from foreign tourists.

Cambodia on Tuesday reported 22 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 120,134 since the pandemic began. There were five new related deaths, which brought the total number of fatalities to 2,940.