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International flights to resume on selected destinations from September 1

The government decided to resume international flights in selected destinations starting from September 1 abiding by safety measures. In a press conference held on August 21 to announce decisions made by the Cabinet, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada announced measures to be followed by passengers as well as aviation service providers.

According to Dr Khatiwada, regular flights scheduled to start from September 1 will be released by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and passengers who will be on board those flights would need an RT-PCR Negative report conducted in the last 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 bar-code or printed copy or else confirmation about hotel booking where they will stay on mandatory quarantine for a week,” he said.

Expenses for one week’s compulsory hotel quarantine is subject to be paid by the person flying back to Nepal and the payment should be made prior to the arrival. Dr Khatiwada said that a list of hotels that would be converted into quarantine facility for a week will be released by the Civil Aviation Ministry soon. 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’s decision. “The government will take legal action if they break the rules,” he said.

Along with the resuming international flights, the government also has decided to continue repatriation flights for stranded Nepalis in those countries where the Covid 19 infection rates are low. It has clarified that only 500 passengers will be permitted to enter Nepal on a daily basis.

“Regarding flights coming in, countries and cities which have easy access to RT-PCR tests like Malaysia, UAE, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, America, Canada and other European countries will be allowed besides those with permission such as Nepali or foreign diplomats or staff, UN and development agency representatives,” said Dr Khatiwada.

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