The government of Nepal has announced that the international, as well as domestic airlines, will resume their services starting from Mid-August. The cabinet meeting of the authorized governmental bodies announced the end of lock-down on Tuesday, midnight, and also announced to let the airlines resume their services from August 17 with possible safety measures. Nepal was under lock-down since March 24 for a long duration of 4 months. The government had banned all the airlines services on March 20th.
The government has also stated that the end of lock-down doesn’t mean that there are no threats to health risk.
According to the cabinet meeting, the decision of the airline resumption and end of lock-down was decided as the number of new COVID-19 cases are decreasing in comparison to previous months. On the other hand, some other countries have already started their airlines services too with safety precautions. In addition, the government has given all the responsibility to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to arrange safety measures and precautions for the safe operations of the flights.
Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai added- “The cabinet meeting has assigned a very important task to us. Hence, with the coordination of the concerned authority, we look forward to having a safe flight with reliable preventive measures.”
For the safe resumption of the airline services, the government has some requirements from the traveler’s side. Travelers are required to have a compulsory medical report and certificate confirming that he/she is not affected by COVID-19. Incoming travelers are required to have a self-isolation period for some days. It has not been fixed and will be decided by the cabinet meeting very soon.
Various new guidelines are coming to support the resuming of airline services.
Flights from Nepal will be sent to countries that are less affected by COVID-19 and Nepal will allow flights from countries where airlines services are not restricted. The government has also decided to develop various protocols and safety measures for all the incoming flights with coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority. According to them, protocols and safety measures for domestic flights have already been developed.
Due to the long lock-down of 4 months during the high Tourism season, almost every tourism companies, agencies, hotels, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders were affected directly and indirectly. They faced a huge loss during high season due to the lock-down. They had to cancel all the bookings and flights to prevent the virus from spreading which caused a huge loss in the tourism area and in government revenue as well.
Therefore, Tourism entrepreneurs had been pressing the government to fix a tentative date for the flights so that they could begin bookings for the Autumn season. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation has stated that all tourism activities will be allowed for the Autumn season starting mid-August. Trekking, mountain flights, helicopter tours, overland tours, and other adventure activities will be allowed soon.
COVID-19 Situation in Nepal. (July 25th, 2020)
Active cases: 5385
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