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Sikkim Suspends Issuing ILP to Foreigners as Precautionary Measure Amid Coronavirus Panic

A thermal screeening device checks passengers arriving in India from China including Hong Kong in view of outbreak of Novel coronavirus (CoV) in China, at the Kolkata airport. (Image: PTI)

A thermal screeening device checks passengers arriving in India from China including Hong Kong in view of outbreak of Novel coronavirus (CoV) in China, at the Kolkata airport. (Image: PTI)

Foreign nationals are required to obtain an Inner Line Permit to visit Sikkim, while a domestic tourist must get permission from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department to visit Nathula.

Gangtok: The Sikkim government on Thursday decided to suspend issuing Inner Line Permit (ILP) to foreign nationals following coronavirus scare as a precautionary measure, a senior official said.

"In view of rapid spread of coronavirus, no ILP may be issued to foreign nationals, including those from Bhutan, with effect from today," a Home Department notification issued by Joint Secretary Parina Gurung said.

In addition, no permits will be issued by the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department for travel to Nathula with immediate effect, she said.

Foreign nationals are required to obtain ILP from the state government to visit Sikkim, while a domestic tourist must get permit from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department to visit Nathula, a mountain pass in East Sikkim district which links the state with China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Though over four lakh people visiting the state have been screened, nobody has tested positive for the virus so far.


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