Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji

Even if the entire population is vaccinated, quarantine will continue: FM

According to the Chair of Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), Foreign Minister, Dr Tandi Dorji, even if everyone is vaccinated, the quarantine will remain in place because countries that have opened their doors to tourists, without quarantine, have suffered.

“The fact that you have been vaccinated does not guarantee that you will not get the disease or become sick. You will be infected, although it is unlikely that the illness will be serious. So, the quarantine will be in place, but the duration of the quarantine may be decreased. However, even if we decrease the duration, I do not think tourists would visit. Unless the traveler intends to remain for an extended period of time, such as a month, they may undergo quarantine, although most visitors to Bhutan only stay for five to seven days,” Lyonpo said, adding that all the travellers, including Bhutanese, coming to Bhutan will be quarantined.

Lyonpo added that the government has not stopped tourism; instead, it is allowing visitors to enter, provided they are prepared to remain under quarantine. Meanwhile, for all travelers entering the country, the quarantine duration has been reduced to 14 days.  

For tourists SDF will be levied during quarantine period, as per the Tourism Rules and Regulations 2017 by which various discounts are available. Minimum Daily Package Rate (MDPR) of USD 250 will be applicable only after the mandatory quarantine.

According to TCB, approval of tourist will be based on how much the country can manage since it will be easier for TCB to keep track of them because the COVID -19 is still ongoing. Even if their results will be negative, TCB will ensure that everyone follows strict COVID-19 standards.

All tourists will have to produce a lab certified COVID-19 negative certificate, and carry out RT-PCR test, not earlier than 72 hours, before embarking on a journey from the country of origin. In addition, it is encouraged to have both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and check for other travel requirements if transiting through another country.

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