PCR report or evidence of taking full dose vaccines against COVID-19 has been made mandatory for persons entering the trans-Himalayan district, Mustang, in view of the new Omicron variant of the Novel Coronavirus.

The number of domestic and foreign visitors had been increasing of late in Mustang after the normalization of the situation in the district with the second wave of coronavirus infection petering out. This had raised hope among the tourism entrepreneurs of the tourism business picking up. But the news of detection of the new Omicron variant in several countries has dampened the hopes. Chief District Officer (CDO) Netra Prasad Sharma said the new measures have been taken and entry to Mustang has been made strict keeping in view the risk of the Omicron variant.

According to him, especially tourists have to show PCR negative report of seven days duration or immunization card showing the person has taken

full dose vaccines or antigen test negative report in the last 72 hours. Entry has been restricted if they cannot produce these evidence.

The District COVID-19 Management Committee said that however this decision would not apply in the case of the permanent residents of the district and the employees, teachers and security personnel who have taken full dose vaccines.

It is said this restriction will be in effect from 12 night of December 1 until midnight of December 15.

Moreover, restrictive measures would be adopted within the district also, CDO Sharma said.

"Foreign and domestic tourists who have entered Nepal have plans of visiting Mustang once. As news of the spreading of the new variant of the deadly coronavirus in several countries have been coming in, we have adopted these restrictive measures in view of the risk of the new variant entering Mustang in this way," the CDO said.

The Committee meeting has also issued orders not to gather in large numbers at public places and not to organize religious and cultural fairs, celebrations, parties and open markets.

Similarly, the order has prohibited the participation of more than 25 persons in case of conducting urgent rituals like marriage, the coming of age ceremony and funerals.