Government suspends visa-on-arrival for all nationalities

Published On: March 14, 2020 09:38 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 14: The government has suspended visa-on-arrival for all foreigners, effective from Saturday till April 30, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Department of Immigration (DoI), issuing a notice on Friday, said that the government has decided to enforce the decision from March 14, considering the declaration of the World Health Organization, regarding the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic. 

According to the new travel restriction, all foreigners with a prior valid visa have to submit a swab-test PCR health certificate issued a maximum of seven days before their arrival date to Nepal and must be submitted at the immigration office at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). Any foreign national including Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) willing to visit Nepal for undeniable reasons, can contact Nepali diplomatic missions abroad and should submit the swab-test PCR health certificate issued a maximum  seven days before their arrival to Nepal along with the visa application at the immigration office TIA. 

The government has also decided to suspend the on-arrival-visa facility granted to NRN card holders for the aforementioned period. The government has directed all foreign nationals, Nepali nationals and NRNs entering Nepal since March 14 to stay in self or home quarantine for 14 days from the date of their arrival. 

“Foreigners with business, study and working visa, diplomatic and official visa entering Nepal for the first time or traveling back to Nepal are subjected to stay in self quarantine for 14 days,” the notice read, adding, Nepali nationals residing abroad to avoid non-essential travel and follow high precautionary measures.

Similarly, all land ports of entry in Nepal for foreigners from third countries will remain closed for arrival in Nepal during the period and those who want to enter Nepal have been asked to use TIA only. 

The government has also asked the international airlines operators bound to Nepal, and travel and tour operators to follow the decisions. The government has appealed the general public to not attend mass gatherings including cinema halls, conferences and events, social functions, fairs and festivals.

The Department of Tourism (DoT), also issuing a notice on Friday said that, the climbing permits for the expeditions that have already been issued or to be issued for the spring season 2020, have been halted, in accordance with the decision made on late Thursday, by a high level committee chaired by the deputy prime minister.

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