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COVID-19 in Cambodia: What are the consequences of violating the COVID Law?

COVID-19 in Cambodia: What are the consequences of violating the COVID Law?

March 30, 2021

With the current drastic increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in Cambodia and to help prevent the spread of contagious diseases, the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia enacted the Law on Measures to Prevent COVID-19 and Other Fatal and Harmful Diseases on 11 March 2021 (the “COVID Law”) and Sub-Decree No. 37 ANKr.BK on the Ministry of Health’s Measures to Prevent COVID-19 and Other Fatal and Harmful Infectious Diseases dated 12 March 2021 (“SD37”).

Under the COVID Law, the measures are divided into two categories: i) measures set out by the Ministry of Health (“MOH”) (as further determined under SD37); and ii) administrative and other measures.

MOH measures (per the COVID Law and SD37)

  • Hygiene practices and temperature checks
  • Mask wearing
  • Social distancing
  • COVID-19 testing
  • Quarantine
  • Isolation for treatment
  • Vaccination
  • Health declaration
  • COVID-19 patients’ corps management and arrangement
  • Other measures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Administrative and other measures

  • Mobility restrictions
  • Restrictions or limitations on social gatherings
  • Restrictions or limitations on certain business activities
  • Closure of certain infected areas
  • Restrictions or limitations on the trading of certain infectious products
  • Other administrative measures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Punishments for violation of the COVID Law include:

  • Administrative punishments (action to be taken by the responsible ministry/authority):
    • Suspension or revocation of a company’s business license, certificate, or permit
    • Closure of the business
  • Criminal punishments: Fines and/or imprisonment

The following is a list of the punishable criminal offenses under the COVID Law:

OFFENSEFINE (US$)IMPRISONMENT TERM
Avoiding quarantine or escaping the quarantine facility500 – 2,5006 months – 3 years
Avoiding being treated or escaping the treatment facility1,250 – 5,0001 – 10 years
Intentionally infecting others with COVID-19N/A5 – 20 years
Non-compliance with administrative measures500 – 5,0006 months – 5 years
Intentionally preventing the implementation of the measures500 – 5,0006 months – 5 years

Violations of SD37 and the corresponding fines include:

OFFENSEFINE (US$)
Individual who does not practicing social distancing or wearing a mask50 – 1,250
Private entities who violate the social distancing and mask wearing policy500 – 2,500
Not cooperating with the MOH on COVID-19 testing250 – 1,250
Escaping or avoiding quarantine (but not causing infection of others)250 – 1,250
Not complying with quarantine rules175 – 500
Aiding an escape from a quarantine facility (but not causing infection of others)2,500 – 12,500
Not complying with treatment procedures500 – 1,250
Not complying with MOH protocols for the handling of a COVID-19-infected corpse (additional criminal punishment may also apply)1,250 – 5,000
Failure to notify the MOH by a private hospital in regard to its treatment of a COVID-19 patient who has escaped a quarantine facility1,250 – 5,000

SD37 specifies the following measures  to be taken in the workplace to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Keep a distance between employees of at least 1.50 meters
  • Where social distancing cannot be practiced, the employees should follow strict hygienic practices and wear masks
  • All entities must arrange their workplaces to ensure that all guests and employees can practice social distancing, and must not allow overcrowding in office/store
  • Organizers responsible for mass gatherings must limit the number of participants in order to ensure social distancing

It is important to note that even though the wording of the COVID Law and the SD37 specifically addresses preventing the spread of COVID-19, the penultimate provision of the law states that it applies to other fatal infectious diseases as determined by the MOH.

AUTHORS

Mariza is an experienced legal adviser, providing due diligence and structuring services to clients in a range of industry sectors. She is particularly known for her deep knowledge in regulatory aspects in real estate, construction, industry including the regulatory aspects of large project transactions, such as land issues, licensing, and factory and environmental approvals. Furthermore, she is an outstanding expert in land issues. She has worked on some of the largest energy and infrastructure projects in the country such as solar plants, industrial zones and island resorts.


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Tharo is a legal associate with an international business focus and a strong grounding in both Cambodian and international commercial law, having obtained his LLM in South Korea. His practice focuses on the energy and infrastructure sector.


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