Spokesperson for Nepal government and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradip Gyawali, on Tuesday announced that long-haul transportation and domestic flights will be allowed to operate from September 17 (Ashoj 1).

Minister Gyawali also informed about other decisions made by Monday’s Cabinet meeting, including the decision to allow hotels to operate from Thursday. Hotel and restaurants, however, must abide by the health safety guidelines cater their services to visiting customers.

Similarly, the government has also set some criteria for the resumption of long-distance public transport services, which have come to a grinding halt been since March 24. Some criteria include carrying only 50 percent passengers of the total seat capacity and charging upto 50 percent extra to make up for the loss.

Gyawali also informed that details regarding airfare, however, will be fixed and announced by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

Criteria for resumption of long-haul transportation are:

-Only 50 percent passengers will be allowed in the vehicle.
-Vehicles have to keep only one passenger in a row seat so that social distancing is maintained. There should not be passengers more than seat capacity.
-All passengers must wear a mask.
-Sanitizers must be provided at the door of the vehicle and inside the vehicle while passengers are boarding.
-Drivers and co-drivers must wear masks, face-shield and gloves. Vehicles will have to be disinfected on a daily basis.
-As long as this situation exists, vehicle the will be able to charge upto 50 percent extra fare.
-In this regard, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Health and Population may formulate additional standards and it will be the duty of drivers and passengers to adhere to these standards.
-If the risk of infection increases, the local administration will be able to make necessary additional decisions (including restriction of traffic operations) after analyzing the risks.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to allow international flights from October 17 (Kartik 1).

Gyawali said that the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation could also allow regular and chartered international flights for tourists from October 17.

As stated earlier by the government, a RT / PCR report done maximum of 72 hours prior flight will be mandatory before starting international air travel.

Similarly, the government has granted permission to allow resumption of hotel and trekking business from September 17.