Kathmandu, March 9
The government has decided to stop issuing on-arrival visa to citizens of eight countries most affected by COVID-19 outbreak.
Citizens of China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan will not be issued on-arrival visa from March 10; issuance of on-arrival visas for citizens of France, Germany and Spain will be temporarily stopped from March 13 till further notice.
According to a notice issued by the Department of Immigration, citizens of these countries willing to visit Nepal can obtain visa from the Nepali mission abroad beforehand. Those having a transit in these countries on their way to Nepal are required to submit a recently issued health certificate stating that they are not infected by COVID-19, along with their visa applications.
“Health certificates will be scrutinised at the immigration at TIA and at the land border entry-exit points,” the notice reads.
According to the notice, nationals from the eight countries are strongly recommended to use TIA to enter Nepal.
The government has also directed airlines and travel operators bound to Nepal to manage the travel route accordingly.
Nationals of the above-mentioned eight countries who get visa from the missions and embassies of Nepal abroad are also advised to carry health certificates that state they have tested negative for COVID-19, along with travel documents.
“The health certificate has to be issued not more than seven days before arrival in Nepal,” reads the notice.
The move to temporarily stop issuing on-arrival visas is in line with the recommendation issued by the World Health Organisation. The government, however, has yet to stop flights to coronavirus-affected countries.
Meanwhile, passengers arriving at TIA have to undergo health screening at the healthdesk. Those having fever are taken to Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, which has been designated by the government to admit and treat COVID-19 patients. The government has also advised Nepalis to postpone plans to visit foreign countries, especially the countries affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, for any purpose — study, work or tourism.
A version of this article appears in print on March 10, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.