The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected the tourism industry of all countries and as tourism is still gaining pace, traveling to international destinations is still restricted in some countries. We know that most of you are already missing the remote monasteries, rich culture and high altitudes of Bhutan and like many other international destinations, Bhutan government is also slowly and gradually lifting the travel restrictions. This post-covid travel guide to Bhutan will let you know all about the guidelines and restrictions imposed by the government in the country.
Bhutan Travel Advisory During Covid
Though international travel is still restricted in Bhutan, some international flights are operational in the country from Delhi, Kolkata and Bagdogra. However, the Bhutan government does not recommend tourists to travel to the country at these uncertain times. However, for essential travel into the country, travelers must adhere to the following covid-19 guidelines issued by the Government of Bhutan.
- Travelers entering Bhutan must produce a COVID-19 Negative Certificate at the time of boarding and port of arrival.
- The 7-day lockdown in Bhutan is set to be removed from New Year 2021.
- The test must be carried out by RT-PCR from a certified laboratory NOT earlier than 72 hours (3 days) prior to leaving the country of origin.
- All travelers are required to undergo mandatory facility quarantine for 21 days and testing as per existing protocols of the Ministry of Health.
- Cost of quarantine and testing and/or medical treatment, if required, for foreigners have to be borne by themselves.
- Drukair and Bhutan Airlines are operating one flight a week from Delhi, Kolkata, and Bagdogra under the Air Travel Bubble Arrangement agreed between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Government of India.
- Travelers who need to travel to Bhutan can contact the two airlines for ticketing and all related information.
- However, it is also important for travelers to know that Drukair and Bhutan Airlines will have the right to cancel or reschedule flights.
Best Time To Visit
The ideal time to visit Bhutan is between the months of October to December when the sky is clear and the weather is pleasant. However, one can also visit Bhutan in the spring season when the weather is pleasant and you can spot colorful flowers blooming in the country.
How To Reach
All international travel is restricted in Bhutan due to the covid-19 pandemic and air travel bubble from Delhi, Kolkata and Bagdogra are available for all essential and business travel. Drukair has operated one flight every week from each of these places in India to Bhutan. The Bhutan Airlines is also planning to operate flights soon.
Tourists can travel to other districts in Bhutan within the country but are also required to practice a home quarantine of 14 days. All local transport is fully operational in the country and you can easily find buses, taxis and cabs to get around.
Places To Visit In Bhutan During Covid
Since international travel is still restricted in Bhutan, most of the tourists attractions and places of interest are closed for sightseeing and exploration. However, when the travel restrictions are lifted, there are many places to visit in Bhutan during covid which includes attractions like Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Punakha Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Chele La, Punakha Suspension Bridge and many more.
Things To Do In Bhutan During Covid-19
Bhutan offers a variety of adventure activities for travelers on their vacation. You can venture on adventurous treks, and also go camping on the hills. Keeping the covid-19 situation in mind, all necessary precautions and safety guidelines. Some of the best things to do in Bhutan during covid are trekking, hiking, camping, and rafting.
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Almost all the hotels in Bhutan during covid-19 are operational with all safety precautions according to the covid-19 guidelines in the country. Some guidelines issued by the Bhutan government that travelers must follow are:
- All parts of your travelers’ hands should be frequently washed, including after exchanging objects such as money or credit cards.
- Travelers must look for hand sanitizer stations and use them before going into dining halls, restaurants or bars.
- Tourists must cover a cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or tissue, and throw away the tissue in a closed bin.
- It is mandatory for travelers to maintain at least a 1 metre distance from staff and other guests.
- Guests must wear a mask at all times during their travel.
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Some restaurants in Bhutan are open and maintain all hygiene conditions and follow covid-19 guidelines. Proper sanitization of the premises along with regular cleaning is also followed at all the restaurants.
What To Pack
This post-covid travel guide to Bhutan also provides you with a list of essentials that travelers must pack while traveling to Bhutan during covid-19. Here are a few things that travelers must carry on their trip:
- Carry extra masks, sanitizers and gloves during travel.
- Pack woollen clothes according to the season you are traveling in.
- Carry woollen caps, gloves and socks.
- Do not forget to carry an extra pair of shoes for trekking and hiking.
- Download and register your details on the Duk Trace App before travel.
- Pre-book all your accommodations and transfers in the country.
- Submit the self-declaration form on the online portal at least 72 hours before travel.
Covid-19 Prerequisites And Consequences In Bhutan
- All possible measures to ensure social distancing and other hygiene measures will be taken during the travel.
- Wearing face masks and maintaining social distance is mandatory in public areas.
Further Travel Tips
This post-covid travel guide to Bhutan will also let you know some further travel tips that you must take on your vacation during covid 19:
- Wear a face mask in all public places as well as public transport.
- Travelers must maintain a minimum gap of 6 feet in public places.
- One must wash hands regularly during the trip and avoid touching surfaces in hotels and restaurants.
Bhutan is a beautiful destination to explore in the neighborhood. The dome shaped monasteries, the lush greenery and calm atmosphere will surely revive your senses. Take notes from this covid guide to Bhutan on your post pandemic expeditions and plan your trip to Bhutan without aunty last minute hassle.
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