Cambodia closes Angkor temples due to growing Covid-19 outbreak

The ban will last until April 20.

A view from outside Angkor Wat temple is seen in Siem Reap, northwestern Cambodia (Heng Sinith/AP)
A view from outside Angkor Wat temple is seen in Siem Reap, northwestern Cambodia (Heng Sinith/AP)

Cambodia is closing the Angkor temple complex to visitors because of a growing coronavirus outbreak.

The temples at Angkor, built between the 9th and 15th centuries, are Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction, though the pandemic has reduced the number of visitors dramatically.

The ban on local and foreign tourists at the site will last until April 20, the government agency overseeing the archaeological site said.

Tourists at Angkor Wat temple in 2017 (Heng Sinith/AP)
Tourists at Angkor Wat temple in 2017 (Heng Sinith/AP)

On Thursday, the Health Ministry said 113 cases were reported from local transmission, with two deaths.

The ministry traced the outbreak to a foreign resident who broke hotel quarantine to visit a nightclub in February, which caused a slew of infections and led the government to close public schools, cinemas, bars and entertainment areas in Phnom Penh.

The closures have been extended as the outbreak grows, with a defunct hotel converted into a coronavirus hospital and authorities imposing criminal punishments for violating health rules.

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