Repatriation flight to resume from September 1, however, conditions apply

KATHMANDU: The Thursday meeting of the Council of Ministers has decided to allow the operation of repatriation flights, but with safety conditions.

Government's spokesperson Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada informed in a media briefing on Friday that the government has decided to allow the operation of flights for evacuation of stranded Nepalis from September, which had earlier been suspended.

As per the decision, no more than 500 passengers will be evacuated on a daily basis the schedule for which will be accordingly prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

Nepali citizens and diplomats stranded abroad amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be evacuated. However, a negative PCR report taken within 72 hours before boarding the flight will have to be submitted.

After the arrival of the passengers, they will be subjected to be quaratined at a selected Hotel facility for a period of seven days, the expenses of which will have to be borne by the passengers themselves.

It has also been learnt that those who submit and do not submit the PCR reports will not be mixed up in the same flight during the procedure. If such a case occurs, all of passengers aboard the particular flights will have to remain in quarantine. Moreover, the airline will be responsible for the expenses of the isolation period in such cases.

Furthermore, in countries where PCR testing is unavailable, only the operation of chartered flights will be allowed.

Earlier, the government had decided to halt all repatriation flights which had invited criticism from several quarters.