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10 May 2021

Khan Leakhena and Nat Sopheap, VOD

Cambodia: Govt. confirm that workers do not need to get vaccinated to return to work; while workers in lockdown areas receive 3-month free bills of utilities

"Vaccines Not Needed to Return to Factory Work, Alcohol Ban Extended", 10 May 2021

Factories should not require vaccinations for employees to return to work, Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Labor Ministry said ..., reversing an earlier proposal that had led to protests among workers seeking quicker vaccinations.

Government authorities also extended the ban on alcohol sales for two weeks and canceled three months of water bills at 870 worker and student accommodations in red zones, ...

As Cambodia’s total coronavirus count nears 20,000 amid an ongoing outbreak, Phnom Penh’s factory workers have been among the worst-hit, and targeted lockdowns continue to affect several worker communities in the capital.

Without work, some initially protested for food aid, before restrictions were lifted last week for most parts of the city, allowing many to return to work.

..., the Labor Ministry issued a statement saying factories should not link eligibility to return with vaccinations. Ministry officials encouraged workers to send information through Telegram if any factory was requiring vaccinations, saying its officials would quickly investigate.

The ministry also ordered factories to pay workers 50 percent of their April wages, and look for ways to transfer the payments to workers living in orange and red zones.

... Sim Soeun, a construction worker, in Pur Senchey district’s Choam Chao I commune, said that as of Sunday he had been living in a red zone for 29 days.

He said he was pleased to not have to pay his water bill. “Every day, I have problems with food shortage, funds and unemployment because I’m banned from leaving. I am in the red zone.”