In a bid to revive the hard-hit tourism industry, Nepal on Friday announced that foreign tourists having COVID-19 negative report will not be required to quarantine themselves for seven days from October 17. The move came after mounting pressure from travel and tourism entrepreneurs to open up the country’s tourism sector for international visitors, as the industry is passing through a difficult time due to months-long lockdown.
Earlier, a seven-day hotel quarantine was mandatory for all the tourists coming to the country. Foreign trekkers and mountaineers wishing to visit Nepal from October 17 may walk free without staying in quarantine if they produce a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) negative report, said an official at the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.
According to the official, the tourism ministry is working to carry out instant antigen test for COVID-19 for foreign tourists upon their arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport. If everything goes according to the plans, Nepal is fully opening up for tourism after October 17, when commercial flights will resume in international sector, said the official.
Meanwhile, Nepal on Friday reported a record 2,722 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 82,450. With the death of 11 more patients, the country’s death toll reached 520.
During a virtual press briefing, Dr Jageshwar Gautam, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, said that 14,749 PCR tests were conducted at various labs across the country. This is the highest single-day spike of coronavirus cases in Nepal since the country confirmed the first COVID-19 case in January.
The Kathmandu Valley, which has emerged as one of the hotspots of coronavirus infections, reported 1,638 cases in a single day. Nepal also recorded the highest number of recoveries in the last 24 hours with 3,307 patients getting discharged, taking the country’s national recovery tally to 60,696.
There are currently 21,234 active patients.