Desperate for Tourism, Nepal to waive off quarantine rules for tourists

Representative image of a bus in Nepal

The Nepal government has decided to waive off quarantine and Covid-19 insurance rules for tourists starting from October 17 onwards, sources said on Friday.

On Thursday evening, a meeting of the Council of Ministers held at the Prime Minister’s residence approved a proposal presented by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation which will allow foreign tourists, who test negative for Covid-19 72 hours before their departure, to enter the country without having to quarantine at a hotel for seven days, The Himalayan Times quoted the sources as saying.

However, the tourists will have to take an antigen test or an instant PCR test immediately upon arriving at the Tribhuvan International Airport, according to the Ministry proposal.

The government has also planed to waive off the Covid-19 insurance of $5,000 for the tourists but the travellers must assure that their medical costs would be covered by themselves or the handling agencies, if they contract the virus during their visit, the sources added.

Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai told The Himalayan Times that said that his Ministry would announce the protocols after consulting with the Covid-19 crisis management center in a day or two.

“We are ready to facilitate tourism activities addressing stakeholders’ concerns,” he added.

The development came a day after Nepal reported the highest surge in the number of single-day coronavirus cases. On Thursday, there were 4,364 new cases, which increased the nationwide tally to 98,617.

Among the new cases, 2,540 have been reported from within Kathmandu Valley alone, The Health Ministry said. Twelve new fatalities were reported on Thursday, taking the overall death toll to 590.

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