Nepal remains undecided on tourism reopening

Published on : Thursday, October 15, 2020

Confusion carries on reigning over the topic of Nepal tourism reopening for tourists.


The recent decision is to permit international visitors only from mid-November 2020, which actually doesn’t match with the earlier decision of the government’s to allow tourists from mid-October 2020.


In the last couple of weeks, the country witnessed an uncontrollable rise in the number of Covid-19 cases and makes the sector uncertain if mid-November would be the right month or not.


“It is not looking good,” said tourism entrepreneur Yogendra Sakya.
The sudden decisions of the government are appearing confusing, giving an impression that it has lost control of the situation. In July, when the lockdown was lifted, the Nepal government had explained that the tourism sector could plan for the autumn season.


Also, from September 1st, it opened international passenger flights but has not allowed tourists in. Before the Cabinet decision on Monday, the government on September 14th, had, bowing down to the pressure, declared that foreign tourists would be allowed for mountaineering and trekking from October 17 to perk up the tourism that is hit majorly by the Covid-19 pandemic.


However, that had come with a warning. Tourists have had to stay in quarantine for seven days before being allowed to hit the trail. Also, they would have to get COVID tested at the beginning and end of the isolation period.


In view of the growing caseload, the Cabinet on Monday took the decision not to open Nepal frontiers to foreign tourists until mid-November, Parbat Gurung, minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens, informed the Post on Tuesday.


“The situation has become different now,” said Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, joint-secretary at the Tourism Ministry. “Various authorities have suggested imposing lockdown again and in this situation, it is not wise to welcome foreign tourists.”


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