KATHMANDU, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — The Nepali government has decided to allow resumption of domestic flights and long-distance public ground transport services starting from September 21, after a hiatus of nearly six months, a Nepali cabinet minister said.

The Nepali government had suspended these services in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic in late March. The Nepali government’s decision came ahead of major festivals in Nepal, Dashain and Tihar, when people tend to travel faraway places.

“The cabinet meeting on Monday decided to resume both domestic flights and long-haul ground public transportation services to help normalize the people’s lives,” Yogesh Bhattarai, minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation, told Xinhua on Tuesday morning.

Even though COVID-19 cases in Nepal are resurging in recent weeks, Bhattarai said that these services would be resumed by ensuring that the health protocols are followed strictly.

He said that his ministry has already prepared the necessary health protocol to be followed by airlines while conducting domestic flights.

As of Monday, the Nepali government has reported 55,329 COVID-cases and total deaths of 360 from the pandemic.

Officially, the Nepali government in early July had decided to allow short-distance public transport to resume services. But local administrations in many districts have halted entire transportation services, citing the resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the recent weeks.

The Himalayan country has already allowed scheduled international flights starting from early September, allowing foreign diplomats, representatives of international organizations and the Nepalis who had received prior approval from the Nepali government to enter the country, to come to Nepal. Enditem

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