Nepal withdraws from plan to relax quarantine, visa provisions for tourists

Kathmandu, March 23

Last Friday, after the cabinet meeting, some media reported that the government decided to remove the requirement of quarantine for tourists visiting Nepal. Some of them even quoted Tourism Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal to report the news.

However, making public the decisions made that day, the government spokesperson, Communications Minister Parbat Gurung, on Sunday did not say anything about the decision. Why?

Sources say the government, in fact, had made the decision to not require the mandatory quarantine and resume on-arrival visa service also. However, it withdrew from the new decisions before making them public.

On Sunday itself, when Gurung was scheduled to make the decisions public, the Ministry of Health and Population issued a notice saying the number of Covid-19 cases was increasing in India. It also urged the public to avoid crowds and gatherings as far as possible and adopt other safety measures.

Then, officials of the Ministry of Tourism thought relaxing the quarantine and visa rules would contradict the Health Ministry’s appeal. Hence, they decided to withdraw.

Following the withdrawal, tourism entrepreneurs fear their hope, already shattered due to strict quarantine provisions, would be further deferred.

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Puri is a business correspondent at Onlinekhabar.

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