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Nepal lockdown: Govt to send stranded foreigners to their own countries

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Kathmandu, March 26

The government is preparing to airlift hundreds of foreign tourists who have been stranded in different parts of the country to Kathmandu and to send them back home.

Due to the recently announced lockdown, around 300 trekkers, most of whom are foreigners, are stranded in the Everest region. Likewise, six foreigners are waiting to be rescued in the Manaslu region. Simbir Ghale, the media coordinator of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal, says there are other tourists also who are stranded in different parts of the country.

The high-level coordination committee formed for coronavirus control on Wednesday decided to facilitate their rescue and safe return to their own countries. The government has told concerned embassies to take care of their citizens and take them home.

Of late, a few embassies in Kathmandu have expressed concerns over the status of their citizens in Nepal. South Korea has taken its citizens back by chartering a flight whereas its second flight request is yet to be approved by the government. France has also taken initiatives to evacuate its citizens.

The government has decided that the tourists should stay in quarantine before being airlifted to their country. The tourists themselves will be responsible for the costs involved in the quarantine.

Dhananjaya Regmi, the chief executive officer of Nepal Tourism Board, says around 10,000 foreigners are living in Nepal currently. Around 8,000 of them have come for tourism purposes, according to him. Most of them are currently in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan.

Meanwhile, around 3,000 foreigners have recently got their visas extended due to travel restrictions.


Published on March 26th, Thursday, 2020 8:58 AM


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1 Comment
  • Laurence Mills says: | March 26 2020 10:31am

    This article is interesting but light on specific details. How would flights work as destinations would be prolific? For example, I want to go Australia, would flights go via Singapore (which is closed) or direct to Australia, perhaps the nearest state capital is Brisbane but Queensland is closing borders. Complication after complication as governments everywhere over-react due to media frenzy. Cars kill more people every day but there is no campaign by media airheads to ban them.

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