KATHMANDU- The government has decided not to reopen domestic flights and long-route bus services immediately.
Citing the growing risk of COVID-19, a cabinet meeting held on Sunday made the decision to continue the 5 month long ban on long-haul public transportation service and domestic flights.
Earlier on August 11, the government had extended a ban on long-route bus services until September 1 as part of containment measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
While the government is resuming the operation of international flights with certain conditions starting September 1, it has decided to continue the restriction on long-route transportation and domestic flight operations. The continuity will restrict inter-district movement of the public.
The ban on long-route public transportation and domestic flights has been in place since March 24 when the government announced a nation-wide lockdown to combat COVID-19. Although the lockdown was lifted on July 21, the government decided to extend the prohibition on long-route transportation and air services.
When people began entering the Kathmandu valley in private cars and vehicles that were allowed to operate for essential purposes, the government intensified its surveillance and checking at various entry points.
Even public transportation services and businesses allowed to operate in Kathmandu valley have now come to a grinding halt after local administrations imposed prohibitory orders in the Kathmandu valley on August 19. The lockdown in Kathmandu Valley is in place until Wednesday at midnight.
Government officials say that the recent spike in coronavirus cases within the Kathmandu Valley has made it uncertain whether to resume long-route transportation services and domestic flights.