Bhutan to receive its first tourist next week after more than a year.

After more than a year, Bhutan will receive its first tourist next week. She is an American who visited the country in 2019 as well. According to the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), there are many like her who have expressed their interest to visit Bhutan. However, they are yet to register with the council. As per a recent notification from the TCB, all incoming tourists will have to apply through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator. They will have to undergo the 21-day mandatory facility quarantine and also pay the daily sustainable development fee of USD 65 for the period. Moreover, they will be required to bear the charges for quarantine and COVID tests.

While the entry will be facilitated only for those coming via air, tourists will have to produce a COVID-19 negative certificate issued by a laboratory certified to carry out an RT-PCR test, not earlier than 72 hours before the initiation of a journey from the country of origin. They are also expected to strictly follow COVID-19 protocol and TCB guidelines while in the country.

The Minimum Daily Package Rate approved by the TCB will be applicable for the entire tour duration after the mandatory quarantine.

The entry of tourists was stopped from March 6 last year after the country detected its first COVID case. On September 5, the Ministry of Health issued a notification allowing individuals wishing to visit Bhutan after producing a COVID-19 negative certificate issued not earlier than 72 hours before the journey. The individuals have to stay in facility quarantine for 21 days before being allowed to travel within Bhutan. Further, on December 7 2020, the National COVID-19 Task Force approved the entry of tourists to Bhutan under strict health guidelines and protocol.

Source : BBS