Gov’t locks down border provinces, and announces new nationwide restrictions, amid fears of spreading Delta variant

Police set up a barricade along a street during a lockdown in Phnom Penh, Picture taken on April 24, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

The Cambodian government announced it is locking down eight provinces along the Thai border in order to curb the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and installing nationwide restrictions on restaurants, cinemas, museums, and entertainment venues, as well as travel curfews, amid a surge in neighboring Thailand.

Migrants still slipping through closed Thai-Cambodian border, despite pandemic fears

A military truck carrying returning migrant workers from Thailand to a quarantine center in Banteay Meanchey province on June 10, 2021. CamboJA/ Vann Vichar

In April, 18-year-old Sophoth illegally crossed the Thai-Cambodian border to work at a factory. In July, he was arrested and sent back through a legal border checkpoint. His journey mirrors that of many Cambodian workers who continue to cross into Thailand each month despite the coronavirus-related border closures, in the hopes of earning a living wage.