Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that be it a frequent traveler, they must have a genuine reason to travel from a low risk to high risk area. A person will have to be in quarantine facility for 7 days and if a person chooses to be in a budget hotel, the government will bear all the quarantine cost, which comes to Nu 750 per day.
However, he said, “If a person chooses to stay in star hotels, they themselves will have to add to Nu 750 and pay the full amount. Government will just pay Nu 750 per day. This rule applies for the civil servant as well.”
Nevertheless, he said that not many are seen travelling to high risk from low risk areas due to the 7-day quarantine rules.
Meanwhile, Lyonchhen said that there has not been any issue in terms of people travelling from low risk to low risk areas via high risk area. But there has been an issue while a person is travelling to high risk to high risk via a low risk area.
To address this issue, Lyonchhen said, “We have looked into the possibility of travelling through India with an escort but they refused this suggestion. Though our Indian counterpart agrees to it, there is risk of transmission to the escort driver since he will have to get out of vehicle for the registration.”
Therefore, they have decided to escort a traveler travelling from high risk to high risk via low risk whereby they won’t be allowed to stop when they reach in a low risk area. A person traveling to Phuentsholing to Lhamoizingkha will not be allowed to stop at Gedu and this will be monitored by the escorts.
They way, they are trying every means to address those issues. “We know that those staying in the high risk areas have been impacted and their businesses are also impacted. However, to prevent any local transmission we have to do this. It is not done for 2023 election, we are doing for the people and country,” he added.
Lyonchhen also said that Bhutan is known globally due to COVID-19 management and it is all because of strict rules and regulations that has been out in place.
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