Nepal is re-opening international tourism on August 17 as the travel ban lifts and all international and domestic flights resume. The government made the announcement after a cabinet meeting earlier this week.
The move comes just before the start of the autumn trekking season between September and November, a time when one-third of the 1.2 million foreign tourists who visit Nepal each year arrive.
Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, secretary of the ministry, said, “The ministry is planning to resume all tourism-related activities following health and safety protocol from August 17.” He also said that the safety protocol is being finalised in consultation with stakeholders concerned.
Government ministers said that the main reason behind the decision is the decreasing number of coronavirus cases in the country. Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation said it would now enforce safety protocols at the entry points and onboard the passenger aircraft.
Regular flights have been suspended since March when airports across the country were closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Initially, flights will be resumed for a few numbers of countries which are less affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The government did not explain which countries would be first but said that more countries will be added gradually.
All travellers arriving in Nepal from August must carry a health certificate that proves they are free of COVID-19.
The Nepali government has not yet finalised any self-quarantine rules for resuming international travel. However, the 14-day quarantine may be implemented during the upcoming peak season.