Coronavirus travel markets in everything

As tourism slowly resumes around the world, many nations are still reluctant to open their borders fully – with Cambodia imposing perhaps the toughest entry requirements of any country.

The south-east Asian country is popular with backpackers, and most renowned for the Unesco-listed temple complex at Angkor Wat.

According to the latest Foreign Office bulletin on Cambodia, foreign travellers must pay a $3,000 (£2,400) deposit for “Covid-19 service charges” at the airport upon arrival.

What appears to be the first “coronavirus deposit” can be paid in cash or by credit card.

The FCO says: “Once deductions for services have been made, the remainder of the deposit will be returned.” But those deductions may be steep – especially if another passenger on the same flight happens to test positive for coronavirus.

So far, so good, perhaps you are keen to go.  But here is the downside of the experience:

But if one passenger on their flight tests positive for coronavirus, everyone on the same flight is quarantined in government-approved accommodation for two weeks, at a cost of $1,176 including meals, laundry and “sanitary services”. They must also pay another $100 for a second Covid-19 test. This totals a further £1,021.

If the traveller happens to be the coronavirus-positive patient, they will have to take up to four tests at another $100 (£80) each, as well as $3,150 (£2,500) for treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in the capital, Phnom Penh.

And:

…Cambodia also imposes a requirement for $50,000 (£40,000) of travel insurance cover for medical treatment.

If the unfortunate arrival passes away, the Foreign Office warns: “The cremation service charge is $1,500 [£1,200].”

Here is the full article, via Shaffin Shariff.

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I am pretty sure Cambodia is not allowing the entry of tourists at this time. The regulations exist in order to facilitate the entry of work visa holders or permanent residents. It is a step up from banning all foreigners from entering regardless of visa or residency status, which is what a lot of other countries in the region are doing.

The above also doesn't mention the fact that even if everyone on the flight tests negative, you are still supposed to self-isolate for 14 days.

Yes, it's an interesting mixture of three common tropes in economics: quotas versus taxes (or hotel and testing fees in this case) versus creative ways for governments to convert regulatory powers into rents.

Not mentioned in the textbooks is crony capitalism. We know there's nobody over there looking into who run these meal and laundry services. You don't need six degrees of Kevin Bacon here. Only 1 will do.

My thought before opening this page was "the virus does not adapt your political beliefs."

3 comments in, and people are having trouble with that. The virus as agent of crony capitalism .. jeez

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/06/10/health/us-coronavirus-wednesday/index.html

Americans are having trouble with this. Maybe it goes back to convincing ourselves the "truthiness" was good enough.

This really cannot be overemphasized - 'Americans are having trouble with this.' It is a novel contagious virus that has zero politics, and does not care about the politics of whoever it infects.

Prior, it’s the least surprising outcome that America’s institutions failed to contain a pandemic.

anonymous, that’s terrible reading comprehension (as usual). Obviously the virus is not rent seeking.

Cambodia, on the other hand, is ranked 162/180 on the corruption index. The odds of the government not using this to shovel money to friends is approximately zero

The guy who has spent four years in a retreating defense of Trump says "of course, we failed."

That is, if you take enough ownership to even use the word "we."

As dumb as a sack of bricks, as Bolton finally "turns TDS" and tells you the things you should have figured out for yourself.

Didn't you just promise a few comments up not to make the virus about politics?

I don't think I'm dealing with the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Try reading Bob's 5:30 comment again.

Or even the earlier, mkt42 at 5:24

"creative ways for governments to convert regulatory powers into rents"

Do you actually think I introduced politics to a virus thread?

Just like the virus isn't just a matter of microbiology, corruption isn't strictly a political issue. They both have economic implications that we should be free to discuss on an economics blog.

Of course, but what happens when you start treating a highly contagious virus as a stalking horse for centralized government?

Does this actually lead you to optimal solutions?

Or do you end up here:

https://twitter.com/Katiehugscats/status/1272957475247931392?s=19

I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I'm working online! My work didn't exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…... PEd after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn't be happier.

Here’s what I do…............ b­i­z­p­r­o­f­i­t­9.c­o­m

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Or here

https://twitter.com/OWHnews/status/1273590559077216257?s=19

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"Didn't you just promise a few comments up not to make the virus about politics?"

He's repeatedly posted some new "standard" of conduct to hold other posters to and then broke his own standard within a day or two. He always blames his failure to follow his own standards on other people not following his standard.

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I was *accused* of being political, when I was in fact criticizing the politicization of the pandemic.

And as the links at 10:31 am and 11:40 am show, the politicization is both real and destructive. It actually prevents us from having simple and constructive policies.

"I was *accused* of being political, "

You were being political, you posted this:

"The guy who has spent four years in a retreating defense of Trump says "of course, we failed. ..As dumb as a sack of bricks, as Bolton finally "turns TDS" and tells you the things you should have figured out for yourself."

There's no denying that you were both insulting and political. Futhermore, you make yourself look foolish by denying it.

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It is a total shock that America's institutions are unable to handle covid.

This gets right to the point - The survey found electorates in Greece (89%), Taiwan (87%), Ireland (87%), South Korea, Australia and Denmark (all 86%) are happiest worldwide with the performance of their government in controlling the coronavirus. At the bottom end of the scale are Brazil, France, Italy, the US and the UK.

Only a third of people around the world said the US responded well to Covid-19, compared with more than 60% who said China’s response was good. In only three countries – Taiwan, the US and South Korea – do more people think the US has responded well to the pandemic than think China has responded well. www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/15/only-three-out-of-53-countries-say-us-has-handled-coronavirus-better-than-china

So the US has about the same death rate as Ireland, would be 9th worse in Europe, and has a rating 64 points less than Ireland. The only difference is the rabid disposition of our media.

With a comment like that, you may have missed the point about America and polling- it rates itself as handling the pandemic better than China.

Ireland infection rate per million - 5,137 Last time there were more than a hundred new cases per day - May 22 Total new cases on June 17 - 7

US infection rate per million - 6,791 Last time there were less than 17,000 cases new cases per day - March 26 Total new cases on June 17 - 26,071

The ongoing pandemic problem in the U.S. has nothing to do with the media.

US death rate is 363/mil vs Ireland's of 347. Basically the same.

Absolutely no one can accidentally miss the point of this information concerning the course of the pandemic in the U.S. - Last time there were less than 17,000 cases new cases per day - March 26 Total new cases on June 17 - 26,071

The U.S. is still experiencing the effects of its first pandemic wave, one which it cannot get under control. This is due to a virus, and has nothing to do with the media.

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No, they are still issuing tourist visas. Here is the UK embassy with a section on tourist visas: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cambodia/entry-requirements. I know people from China who have gone to Cambodia for tourism too because that’s one of the few places that’s still open.

This being Cambodia, maybe the rules vary by country or by who is in charge of the visa section of the embassy or consulate. But https://www.mfaic.gov.kh/fr/covid-19-fr says "Suspension of visa-free entry, tourist visas, e-visas and visas on arrival." Singapore's foreign ministry, which should theoretically have pretty up to date info also says, "[Note: Tourists will no longer be issued visas.]" https://www.mfa.gov.sg/countries-regions/c/cambodia/travel-page

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I'm surprised that this isn't normal already. It certainly should be becoming so, I think. And I say this as someone who's business depends on travelling the world, wondering how long I can be sustainable for without it

Yeah, apart from the obvious cronyism of this case, it seems entirely reasonable.

In fact, the libertarian in me wonders why most countries don't ask visitors to pay a bond for good behaviour etc (and to ensure they leave again in good time and order). It seems entirely efficient to do so. The bond can be higher for nationals of high-risk countries....

I can forsee an insurance market where an organised 3rd party will undertake to pay the bond on your behalf...

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Another great idea by Hun Sen and his clique to siphon off more money. I head the same from Ethiopia: foreigners are being quarantined in high-end hotels at steep prices, most probably in venues owned by officials or their friends or families. These guys certainly have a secret Reddit, Whatsapp or Facebook group where they share the latest #UnethicalGovernmentProTips.

Those pro tips don't last into high income economies, though. There it's the businesses, who have the (on the surface, people's) representatives in their bag. Those tax billions then flow into well-connected businessman (always a man) pockets.

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Sounds like Cambodia is trying harder than New Zealand at keeping a virus from spreading.

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Another government program that no doubt will be abused.....

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new zealand just put the military in charge of enforcing quarantines

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Florida has adopted an inconvenience tariff. All vehicles crossing the border into Florida are checked, and cars with passengers from high risk states (New York, Massachusetts, California, etc.) are subject to inspection for symptoms of coronavirus. On Tuesday when I crossed the border between Georgia and Florida on I-95, the southbound lanes were backed up for miles. If time is money, the "tariff" is very expensive. Ironically, Florida is where new cases have spiked while in places like New York, the volume of new cases has dropped. Whether the inconvenience tariff will reduce the number of infections in Florida is debatable. As most know, Florida's governor, a Trump protege, was one of the first to re-open his state, the re-opening triggering a surge in new cases. I suspect the inconvenience tariff is more show than anything else. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars and shops are not practicing safe distancing, and few customers wear masks, which makes the inconvenience tariff absurd.

Meanwhile, as the proles swelter in queues on the highway, the wealthy flit around and back and forth on private jets making a mockery of the kabuki.

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see wayward misunderstand irony here
"Ironically, florida is where new cases have spiked while in places like New York, the volume of new cases has dropped."

if cases are increasing in florida reducing travel into florida is
a purty routine (not ironical)public health measure to reduce
spread of the virus

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and NY's rate is still 2x of Florida's

Check which direction both states are going

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Cambodia charges 100 smackers for a test like they do in the US. Is the price the same everywhere or is this a rich foreigner tax?

The price in the Philippines is between $70 and $80. Based on the breakdown given in this article, the most expensive part of the price is simply getting access to PCR equipment: https://www.rappler.com/nation/262844-philhealth-releases-new-coronavirus-covid-19-testing-rate-package

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Marginal cost to run the test in Australia is about $5 AUD. That's $3.50 US. Having a trained professional collect the sample is the big expense.

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Good luck finding travel insurance despite a pandemic declared by the WHO and travel warnings

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No, Cambodia does not have the toughest entry requirements of any country—to the contrary, it is one of the few countries that is still allowing everyone in and has not banned anyone from entering based on nationality. I’d say it has one of the loosest entry requirements.

To further note the history of Cambodian restrictions, Cambodia did briefly ban people from the US and a couple of European countries for a couple of weeks. During that period, they did not have these entry requirements. They added these entry requirements more recently, after opening the country up to Americans and the formerly banned European countries. In fact, these entry requirements are more effective at preventing the spread of COVID than nationality-based travel bans, which clearly did not work in the US, as US citizens and people coming from some countries continued to arrive in the US without any testing or contact tracing. These Cambodian entry requirements are therefore what Brian Caplan’s book on immigration calls a “keyhole solutions”—they prevent the spread of COVID while being less restrictive than a total entry ban. Keyhole solutions should be encouraged—every government policy should come with the question: could the goals of the policy be achieved with a less restrictive method? Cambodia’s border policies throughout this crisis should be applauded (and they were applauded even by Trump).

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I agree that they don't discriminate much but the fees and insurance requirements will keep out most of the world population. That makes it one of the toughest.

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I’d say it has one of the loosest entry requirements. - Depends on how well it is implemented. New Zealand was quite restrictive, only allowing its own citizens entry, but it appears that the government was unable to run a quarantine.

Which is amazing, considering what happened in the U.S. (the chaos of the Europe travel ban and the Grand Princess) or Australia (allowing the Ruby Princess passengers to debark and spread the virus), there is no question that the virus will spread widely and quickly unless the strictest measures are enforced to prevent that from happening.

NZ is allowing non-citizen residents also.

After obtaining their subsidy and bailout checks here in the US, those billionaires need a place go to get away from everyone, after all.

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In the past the wealthy worked hard to find exotic places to visit to avoid the crowds. This will please some rich tourists as they can now visit the usual sights in splendid isolation.

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Solution: Postpone vacation. But that might violate Anglo-American's human rights to share their viruses with poor marginalized Asians and other oppressed people of color.
Maybe I'm being a little cynical, sarcastic even, but there is a point. Demanding your Rights everywhere under all conditions comes with costs. Exactly why should marginalized oppressed people have to pay the cost for your freedom to infect them?

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