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PM Wants to Test Lifting the Mask Mandate in a Province to Know the Effect of Herd Immunity

SIEM REAP: Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that he wants to try lifting the mandate on wearing masks in one or two provinces to know how effectively herd immunity has been established in the community, since Cambodia has successfully vaccinated a significant percentage of its population.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the official use of 38 roads in Siem Reap on Monday morning (4 April 2022), Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has permitted people to travel and dance again during the upcoming Khmer New Year. He stated that this is not to test the people, but to know how effectively herd immunity has been established in Cambodia, while he also expressed the desire to choose a province to test out the effects of stopping mask-wearing.

The Prime Minister said, "Because the mask is also an expense! It is an expense, so at some point we should try. Suppose we take a province, for example, Preah Vihear. To walk in that province, it is not necessary to wear a mask, but if you leave that province to Siem Reap or Oddar Meanchey, you must wear a mask. But if we excuse both Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear, when crossing from Preah Vihear to Oddar Meanchey, you do not need to wear a mask, and from Oddar Meanchey to Preah Vihear, you do not need to wear a mask either. But if you cross into Siem Reap, you must wear a mask. So I want to move forward in this way because some countries have already lifted mask-wearing mandates in public, even when they still have many [Covid-19] cases."

The Prime Minister confirmed that he was still observing the situation to make an informed decision regarding this case, and that as long as there is no official announcement released, citizens should continue wearing masks.

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