migrant workers
Provincial officials and frontline workers wait in a tent for 3rd vaccine doses ahead of the border reopening, in a photo posted to the Banteay Meanchey Administration's Facebook page on August 9, 2021.

Thousands Pour Back Through Reopened Thai Border

Cambodian returnees from Thailand have surged since the reopening of borders on Friday, local officials said, with migrants trucked in from checkpoints to expanded quarantine centers.

Migrant workers wait at a border checkpoint while military trucks pass in a photo posted to the Banteay Meanchey provincial administration's Facebook page on August 13, 2021.

Hundreds of Migrants Return as Thai Border Reopens

Hundreds of migrant workers poured back into the country on Friday as its borders to Covid-19-hit Thailand reopened, and the flow is expected to continue in the coming days as many Cambodians face difficulties in the neighboring country.

Cambodian migrant worker Sa Phay’s rented room in Rangsit, Thailand, on November 11, 2019 (Matt Surrusco/VOD)

As Border Shuts, Cambodians in Thailand Face Bleak Outlook

Heng Sreynop says she lives in a red zone in Thailand, and fears Covid-19. She says she understands why the borders need to be closed, but it adds to the pressure. “If we wanted to escape, we couldn’t escape. We don’t know where to escape.”

Authorities at the O'Smach International Border Checkpoint check temperatures of Cambodian workers returning from Thailand, in a photograph posted to the Immigration Department's Facebook page on March 23, 2020.

Hundreds Rush Home From Thailand Before Border Closure

More than 300 Cambodians came through the O’Smach checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey — almost as many as had returned this whole month — ahead of the closing of borders with Thailand, while other border provinces prepared curfews and lockdown restrictions.