KATHMANDU, Aug 22: The government of Nepal has decided to resume International flights in selected destinations starting from September 1 abiding by safety measures.
In a press conference to announce decisions made by the Cabinet of Ministers, government Spokesperson Minister for Finance, Communications, and Information Technology Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada announced measures to be followed by passengers as well as aviation service providers.
“Regular flights scheduled to start September 1, will be released by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). Passengers who will be on board those flights would need an RT- PCR Negative report which shall be performed 72 hours before getting on-board. They should send it along with a form that they need to fill online over the website of CCMC and show either bar-code or printed copy or else confirmation about hotel booking where they will stay on mandatory quarantine for a week,” Khatiwada said.
Expenses for one week’s compulsory hotel quarantine are subjected to be paid on by the person whosoever is flying back to Nepal and the payment should be made prior to the arrival. Khatiwada said that a list of hotels that would be converted into a quarantine facility for a week will be released by the MoCTCA soon.
After flights resume on September 1, anyone willing to fly out will be allowed to travel. People wanting to go abroad can go from September 1, but they should make all the necessary arrangements including visas, tests, entry to the destination country and their stay there by themselves.
The government has decided to fly home Nepalis not exceeding 500 in number every day.
“After completing seven days in quarantine, they have to give in writing that they would spend another 14 days in-home quarantine,” said Khatiwada.
Airlines will have to collect the expenses of hotel quarantine from their passengers and ensure that they pay the respective hotels as per the bookings. However, if they violate any rules and bring people having no PCR tests, the concerned airline will have to bear all the quarantine expenses of all their passengers, according to the Cabinet decision.
“The government will take legal action if they break the rules,” said Khatiwada.
Along with the commencement of International flights starting next month, the government also has decided to continue repatriation flights for stranded Nepali in those countries where the COVID-19 infection stands low. Also, it has clarified that only 500 passengers will be permitted to enter Nepal on a daily basis.
But the government has mentioned that the Diplomatic Staffs stationed inside the nations will be exempted in the due course of time. “Regarding flights coming in, Countries and Cities which have easy access for RT-PCR Tests-Malaysia, UAE, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, America, Canada and other European Countries, those with permission to come to Nepalwither Nepali or Foreign Diplomats or Staffs, UN, Development Agencies representatives only will be allowed to come to Nepal,” Khatiwada said.
“Those countries where RT-PCR is not easily available such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and other countries, regular flights will not be allowed to ferry passengers,” he added.
“The Government has committed to conducting chartered flights to destinations where flights are required in co-ordination with concerned missions for evacuation flights. Earlier the government had canceled on the evac. Flights which had mounted pressure and criticism on the government from multiple fronts,” he added.