First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: After India launched an ‘air bubble scheme’ to help repatriate its citizens who are stranded abroad, Nepal has also started preparations to operate Nepal-India flight services.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has made a proposal to open Nepal-India flights from October 17. It submitted the proposal to the COVID-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC) stating that flight operations to and from India should be resumed to bring back Nepali nationals who are stranded there in coordination with the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi.
However, the ministry has not yet received any response from CCMC. Due to the high rate of daily coronavirus infections in India, it is not clear whether CCMC will be ready to open air services with the southern neighbor immediately.
The ministry’s Spokesperson, Kamal Prasad Bhattarai, informed that it has submitted the proposal to open flights with India by following certain health safety protocols. He said that those returning from India must get a PCR test conducted and will be allowed to come to Nepal if their test report is negative. The PCR test must have been conducted within 72 hours of boarding the flight. Similarly, the flight will not be permitted to carry passengers who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Once the proposal has been approved by CCMC, it will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers for its endorsement. India’s Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, had proposed to 13 different countries including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, among others to join its air bubble scheme in August.
The MoCTCA has decided to participate in the scheme to evacuate Nepalis who are still stranded there. It will help people to return home for the upcoming festivals.
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