September 30: The government has decided to issue on-arrival visa for tourists from October 17. The on-arrival visa facility was suspended since the last six months due to coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, the government had decided to open trekking and expeditions for foreigners from October 17 but the tourism entrepreneurs were concerned about the delay in announcing on-arrival visas. They had time and again demanded the government to issue on-arrival visas because tourists were in dilemma whether or not to visit Nepal due to the delay in such announcement.
Finally, the government decided to allow foreign visitors who fulfill all the health protocols set by the government. Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai informed that the ministry is coordinating with Nepal Rastra Bank and home ministry as well as the immigration department to make the on-arrival visa payment system seamless and hassle free.
Director General of the Tourism Department Rudra Singh Tamang informed that the government has decided to issue on-arrival visas for tourists travelling in groups and that the visitors need to mandatorily stay in quarantine for a week upon their arrival in Nepal. The tourists also need to show their PCR test report taken within 72 hours in order to enter Nepal. The immigration department will cross-check the report while issuing the on-arrival visa.
The expedition teams visiting Nepal will have to purchase insurance policy of at least Rs 100,000 for coronavirus in order to get permission for climbing.
Tourism entrepreneurs have expressed reservation regarding this decision of the government. They claim than although the decision to open Nepal for tourists is a positive step, other mandatory provisions like one-week quarantine and PCR tests would only dissuade the visitors.
They say that the government took such measures against the recommendation made by the tourism stakeholders. They have also demanded PCR test at the Tribhuvan International Airport itself. The tourism entrepreneurs argue that the tourists have to travel through different transit points so the PCR test taken 72 hours ago might not be relevant.