The Hong Kong Government has agreed to allow its vaccinated citizens stranded in Nepal to return home. Hong Kong had halted its regular flights to Nepal since May. Hong Kong had enlisted Nepal among the extremely risky nations with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the immediate past chair of Hong Kong Nepalese Federation and the In-charge of Nepalese Service Centre Rita Gurung, the Hong Kong Government has agreed to allow vaccinated Hong Kong ID Card holding Nepali expats stranded in Nepal to return to Hong Kong. Previously, the Hong Kong Government had denied entry to its citizens despite being vaccinated in Nepal.

Gurung said the discussion held at East Wing Central of Hong Kong Government's Food and Health Bureau between Hong Kong Government officials and leaders of Nepali expat community has decided to this effect. Gurung said the returning days would start from September 15. However, for being eligible for this scheme, one needs to undergo two COV- ID-19 tests within 72 hours that must show them free of COVID-19.

''A 21-day-long quarantine at a hotel is mandatory for returnees,'' said Gurung, ''However, dependents of Hong Kong ID holders are still restricted from entering.'' Gurung said they are doing their best for the entry of dependents. Dr Chui Tak Yi, the chief of the Food and Health Bureau, has taken the demand positively.

According to Hong Kong Nepalese Federation, around 1,000 Hong Kong citizens are stranded in Nepal. They had flown to Nepal for familial and business reasons.

Nepali expats in Hong Kong had collectively helped Nepal in the time of pandemic by donating oxygen concentrators and other vital medical equipment. In the first week of July, 100 oxygen concentrators were airlifted to Nepal.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 12 2021, of The Himalayan Times.