KATHMANDU, June 3: The government has listed out 78 hotels and resorts including star hotels for quarantining people who enter Nepal via airways.
As flights to Nepal-India were taking place in an air bubble arrangement, eight hotels were being used for passengers from India. The government has now added 70 more hotels that are willing to serve as quarantine space. Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel presenting the budget for fiscal year 2021/22 had announced that the government would provide incentives to hotels that are turned into isolation centers.
All air passengers are required to stay in quarantine ranging from 5 days to 10 days. The government has made it mandatory for Nepali and foreign nationals to stay in hotel quarantine for at least 10 days in order to control the COVID-19 pandemic. The passengers can board flights to Nepal only if they show the proof of hotel bookings.
According to Rudra Singh Tamang, Director General at the DoT, the locations of hotels should be in areas as mentioned in the criteria for Nepali and foreign nationals who come to Nepal via international flights.
The government has allowed limited airlines to operate regular international flights starting June 1. Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways and Air India can now operate one flight each every week while Nepal Airlines will carry out two flights in a week. With this decision coming into effect, the flow of passengers from international destinations is likely to grow, thereby posing risk of COVID-19 transmission in the country.
Five-star hotels, tourist standard hotels and resorts to provide their space for quarantine
A total of seven 5 star hotels namely Shangri-La Hotel, Radisson Hotel, Hotel Yak & Yeti, Hyatt Regency The Soaltee, Hotel Aloft and Hotel Everest have been listed as quarantining space for Nepali and foreign air passengers who enter Nepal.
Similarly, 4 star hotels like Hotel Shanker, Hotel Himalaya and Grand Hotel followed by seven 3 star hotels like Summit, Amadablam, Shambala, Le-Himalaya, Hotel Platinum, Hotel Traditional Comfort and Hotel Landmark will also provide the service for quarantining passengers.
There are a total of 51 tourist standard hotels in locations around the airport area, Gaushala, Battisputali, Bag Bazar, Lainchaur and Dhulikhel.
Park Village and Gokarna Forest Resort will also serve as quarantine space for air passengers.
Prior to this, eight hotels including Ananda Ashram, Airport Hotel, Amadablam Hotel, A One Resort, Farm House Resort, Mahadev Hotel, Readers Inn and View Bhrikuti were available for quarantine service.
Cost for the stay at hotels
The government has stated that all the listed non-star hotels should charge only Rs 3,000 per person including three meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner to the passengers who have booked the rooms.
Meanwhile, star hotels can charge as per their hotel policy. “Any hotels not adhering to the Hotel Quarantine rules shall be penalized as per the Infectious Disease Act 2020,” read a notice issued by the Tourism Department.
Criteria for the hotels
The hotels should have at least 20 rooms and a compound determining the hotel’s premises with enough space to go around. Enough food, water and other logistic support to serve air passengers in the quarantine are required while the hotels should also have space to collect swabs for COVID-19 tests.
The rooms should also have television and WiFi for the guests along with attached toilets and make hot water for drinking and bathing available at all times.
“Food and other services should be provided in passage or occupied rooms,” according to the criteria set by the Department of Tourism. There should be sanitizers and soap, water for guests to sanitize. Spaces like buffet dining, gym, sauna, indoor and outdoor games where crowds can be easily formed should remain closed for the time being.
Rooms where people will quarantine should have soaps, toothpaste, brush, hand wash and towel enough for at least a week.