No quarantine is required to visit Nepal from October 17, 2020

KATHMANDU: The government has decided to allow foreign tourists carrying a negative PCR test report to visit Nepal after October 17.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers held at Prime Minister’s residence last evening approved a proposal presented by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to allow foreign tourists who get tested negative for Coronavirus 72 hours before departing their home country to visit Nepal without staying at hotel quarantine for seven days, according to sources.

However, arriving tourists should stand for the antigen test or instant PCR test for reconfirmation immediately upon arriving at Kathmandu airport, the sources said citing the MOCTCA proposal.

The government also plans to waive off COVID insurance of US$ 5,000 for visiting tourists but the travelers must assure that their medical costs would be covered by themselves or the handling agencies, should they contract Covid-19 while staying in the country, sources added.

Foreigners meeting required criteria will also be provided visa on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport after October 17.

The tourism ministry confirmed that preparations are underway to introduce new protocols for foreign tourists incorporating aforementioned provisions to boost tourism activities in the country.

Talking to THT online, Minister Yogesh Bhattarai said that his ministry would announce the protocols after consulting with COVID-19 crisis management center in a day or two. “We are ready to facilitate tourism activities addressing stakeholders’ concerns,” he added.

Earlier, the ministry had introduced a protocol laying conditions that the tourists must secure an entry-visa, or an entry-permit in absence of visa-provision in their countries in co-ordination with respective agencies. Also, the a mandatory week-long hotel quarantine and COVID insurance of US$ 5000 provisions also drew criticisms from stakeholders.

“The revised provisions would certainly help expedite tourism activities in the country,” MoCTCA sources quipped.

Tourism entrepreneurs have already started necessary preparations to run their businesses after Oct 17 once international commercial flights resume in a full swing.