• Dhruv Razdan

Bhutan finally opens up to the world with updated travel guidelines

Updated: Jul 5



Bhutan is officially open as of today and it has released its new travel guidelines. Bhutan has been among the isolated countries since the COVID pandemic banned incoming tourists to the country.


This comes after a major policy announcement that notified that foreign tourists coming into the landlocked South Asian country will now have to shell out a hiked sustainable development fee — $200 per person per night, compared to the earlier $65.


PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ROYAL GOVERNMENT OF BHUTAN


This is to inform the public that the five-day facility quarantine for all incoming travelers will be lifted starting July 4, 2022.


While we acknowledge the implications and inconveniences the arrangement has caused to the travelers so far, it was intended to reinforce and protect our country and communities from COVID-19, which is still in the "pandemic" stage. Since the transition into Phase II, we have continuously seen a low positivity rate (1.46 percent) and promising trends of zero fatalities and hospitalisations until date.

Therefore, taking into consideration these positive developments, a new arrangement of "Test-and-Go" system (mandatory stay home/hotel quarantine for 24 hours or until negative RT-PCR result is declared) will be instituted effective from July 4, 2022 where the stay home/hotel duration will be strictly monitored.

Upon arrival at the point of entry, while RT-PCR test sample will be collected, a proof of vaccination certificate or evidence of COVID-19 infection in the six months prior the visit will have to be produced. Anyone testing positive will be required to self-isolate for five days at home/hotel.


Besides Paro, Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrupjongkar, the test results at other points of entry may take more than 24 hours due to the non-availability of the RT-PCR testing facility. Those already undergoing the five-day quarantine and who have tested negative will be allowed to end their quarantine as per the "Test-and-Go" protocol from July 4, 2022.


As we cautiously move forward, vaccination and booster will be a critical tool in our collective effort to end the pandemic.

This is a significant milestone in the country's fight against the pandemic. From the non - compromising 21-day to 14-day to five-day quarantine system, and now being able to do away with it completely is a feat we have all achieved together. It has served the purpose of securing the nation from the disease and its multiple variants.

We thank all the frontlines and the general public for your exceptional support and solidarity in our fight against the dreadful virus.

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