More of Phnom Penh Turned ‘Yellow’ in Easing of Lockdown Restrictions

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A guard talks into a loudspeaker as customers buy vegetables before a two-week market shutdown, near Phnom Penh’s Olympic Market on April 24, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)
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UPDATED — Several communes in Phnom Penh and most of Takhmao City will have lockdown restrictions eased starting Thursday, authorities have announced.

In a new list of lockdown zones issued by Phnom Penh City Hall Wednesday night, all of the capital’s Boeng Keng Kang, Chamkarmon, Chroy Changva, Daun Penh and Sen Sok districts were moved to “yellow.”

The list has changes to 51 out of the city’s 105 communes, and leaves 11 as red — the most restrictive zoning category — which is one more than before, but all have been made only partially red. Twenty-four communes are in orange, at least in part, down from 42.

Some communes, such as Pur Senchey’s Choam Chao II, saw an addition of a red-zone village, but most areas typically saw a relaxing of restrictions in the form of more being designated as yellow. Restrictions for yellow, orange and red zones remain the same, except for curfew hours.

In Takhmao, meanwhile, only a small area near the city’s cultural buildings remains a red zone, with the rest of the city made yellow, according to the provincial administration.

Phnom Penh and Takhmao started its three-color lockdown system last week, gradually easing restrictions on parts of the city less affected by Covid-19 cases. Phnom Penh has continued to see hundreds of new cases a day, but roughly two-thirds have been in Meanchey and Pur Senchey districts.

Meanchey’s three Stung Meanchey communes saw parts made orange and yellow, rather than entirely red.

The easing has come despite the country seeing a continuing surge in new coronavirus infections over the past week, including record daily cases on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this week suggested an end to citywide lockdowns in favor of targeted restrictions.

Under the three-color rules, yellow and orange zones still have a curfew from 8 p.m., though they now end at 3 a.m. instead of 5 a.m., according to City Hall’s Wednesday announcement. Residents of red zones must still remain indoors except in health emergencies or to receive vaccinations. 

Yellow zones still cannot have alcohol at gatherings, and schools, bars, entertainment centers, gyms and liquor stores must remain closed. City Hall also clarified that only takeaway and delivery are allowed from restaurants.

Red Zone Rules

No leaving residences, including for exercise and buying food.
No business activities, including markets. Only Commerce Ministry markets and donations from the government are permitted.
No transport, except for freight and deliveries.
No gatherings.
No alcohol.
Curfew is in place.

Orange Zone

No leaving residences, except for:
  • Commutes.
  • Buying food, groceries and pharmaceuticals. (Up to three times a week.)
  • Medical reasons.
  • Exercise with two or fewer people.
  • Diplomats and journalists.
  • Prior permission from authorities.
No business activities, except for:
  • Markets, grocery stores and restaurants for delivery, as approved by authorities.
  • Pharmacies and other essential services, as approved by authorities.
  • Hotels and guesthouses, with up to 2 percent staffing.
  • Public services and utilities, with up to 2 percent staffing.
  • Factories producing medical equipment or food.
  • Other necessary work as approved by authorities.
No transport, except for:
  • Delivery of food and groceries.
  • Freight.
No gatherings, except for:
  • Family members who live together.
  • Funerals organized with local authorities.
  • Covid-19 testing and other medical activities.
No alcohol.
Curfew remains in place from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Yellow Zone

Travel within the zone is permitted.
Business activities are permitted, except for:
  • Schools.
  • Karaoke clubs, bars and beer gardens.
  • Amusement parks, cinemas, theaters and museums.
  • Gyms, sports centers and massage parlors.
  • Liquor stores.
Only takeaway and delivery are allowed at restaurants.
Transport is permitted.
Gatherings are permitted for up to 10 people. Larger funerals and gatherings for work are also allowed.
No alcohol at gatherings.
Curfew remains in place from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Updated May 6 with map.

Correction 10:16 p.m.: The number of red and orange communes have been fixed from 10 and 25 to 11 and 24, respectively, and the number of communes with changes from 49 to 51.

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