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Nepal To Resume Commercial Flights, End Lockdown In Boost For Virus-Hit Tourism Sector

Nepal To Resume Commercial  Flights, End Lockdown In Boost For Virus-Hit Tourism Sector

Kathmandu, July 23 : Nepal on Tuesday said it will resume international commercial flights in mid-August and announced an end to its coronavirus lockdown in a boost for the struggling tourism sector.

The Himalayan nation shut its airports in late March to combat the spread of the virus, which has so far infected 17,844 people and claimed 40 lives in the country.

The shutdown hit just before the peak of the tourism season, when hundreds of mountaineers and trekkers visit Nepal, costing the industry — a key part of the economy — millions of dollars.

The decision to restart commercial domestic and international flights from August 17 was taken in a cabinet meeting Monday, Nepal’s Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Yogesh Bhattarai said.

“The ministry is working on safety protocols for airport management, flight operators and passengers for the purpose,” he told AFP.

The announcement came ahead of the government’s decision late Tuesday to lift the months-long lockdown, which has been gradually eased over the past few weeks.

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