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Cambodia is asking tourists to put down a $3,000 'coronavirus deposit' that covers fees if they get sick

INSIDER logoINSIDER 6/18/2020 shoeller@businessinsider.com (Sophie-Claire Hoeller)
a person standing on a sidewalk: Travelers to Cambodia are required to take a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival, according to the country's Ministry of Health. Theerawat Payakyut/iStock © Theerawat Payakyut/iStock Travelers to Cambodia are required to take a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival, according to the country's Ministry of Health. Theerawat Payakyut/iStock
  • Nonessential travel is still not recommended in many places, such as in the US, where the Centers for Disease Control warns against it. 
  • Cambodia, which has seen 128 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths at the time of writing, started opening its borders to international travelers in late May.
  • However, as of June 11, Cambodia began requiring a $3,000 coronavirus deposit of sorts, which is meant to cover any COVID-19-related costs a traveler might accrue while in the country.
  • According to Cambodia's Ministry of Health, a mandatory COVID-19 test on arrival costs an estimated $165; should travelers test negative, they would be reimbursed the remainder of the $3,000 deposit (an estimated $2,835).
  • It's worth noting that if one person on a flight tests positive, the rest of the passengers have to quarantine for 14 days at an estimated cost of $1,281 per person (this would be deducted from each traveler's deposit), according to the Ministry of Health.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

As many countries have started reopening their borders to tourists, some places, like Sicily, are enticing visitors with discounted flights, while others, like Mexico, are offering free overnight stays. Greece is cutting taxes on transportation to make travel there less expensive.

Cambodia seems to be taking a slightly different approach, as authorities recently announced that they will be requiring a $3,000 coronavirus deposit of sorts from international travelers, as well as proof of health insurance valued at a minimum of $50,000.

It's worth noting that nonessential travel is still not recommended in many places, such as in the US, where the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns against it. If you do choose to travel, it's best to check the CDC's travel recommendations for each country.

The $3,000 deposit — which can be paid in cash or by credit card, and is required upon arrival at Cambodian airports — is said to cover any COVID-19-related costs that travelers might accrue in the country.

The Ministry of Health has outlined a comprehensive list of possible fees and treatment costs arrivals may face. This is a big pivot from late March when the country's Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Cambodian hospitals would treat COVID-19-positive visitors for free.

a wooden park bench sitting in front of Angkor Wat: Angkor Wat in Siem Riep is an important archaeological site. Shutterstock/Joakim Lloyd Raboff © Shutterstock/Joakim Lloyd Raboff Angkor Wat in Siem Riep is an important archaeological site. Shutterstock/Joakim Lloyd Raboff

According to the Ministry of Health, the mandatory COVID-19 test alone can cost around $165: $100 for the test, $5 to get to the testing center, and around $60 for three meals and a night in a hotel or designated facility to await the results, which it says take around 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health goes on to suggest a cost of around $1,281 per person for a two-week quarantine; this estimated cost includes staying in a designated hotel or quarantine center, meals, laundry, and medical services, and would be deducted from a traveler's deposit if someone else on their flight tests positive.

If the traveler tests positive themselves, they would have an estimated $330 per day spent in a hospital deducted from their deposit.

The ministry notes that a funeral, in the event of a coronavirus-related death, would cost an estimated $1,500.

The mandatory proof of health insurance is required in case a traveler racks up costs higher than the $3,000 deposit, according to the Independent.

Travelers who test negative would only be charged for the test and reimbursed for the remaining deposit, according to Khmer Times. However, the US Embassy in Cambodia says that all arriving travelers should be prepared for the costs and fees outlined by the Ministry of Health.

Cambodia has seen 128 cases and no reported deaths related to the coronavirus at the time of writing, according to statistics from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Representatives for the US Embassy in Cambodia did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Insider

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