Bhutan: Incoming travellers can opt for home quarantine from May 2

The government is allowing incoming travellers to opt for home quarantine from tomorrow. All incoming Bhutanese, diplomats, expatriates, and foreign nationals married to Bhutanese are eligible to apply for the home quarantine. They will now no longer have to undergo the five-day mandatory facility quarantine.

Moving on to the second phase of COVID management in the country, the government started cautious relaxations of COVID restrictions in March. Since then a series of relaxations were announced, and the latest is for international travellers. According to a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office issued earlier today, inbound travellers can now apply for home quarantine with the health ministry to which the respective Regional Task Forces and Quarantine Facility Management Unit will facilitate the approval.

Home quarantine protocol incorporates quarantine for five days as the day of arrival is marked as day zero. The home quarantine ends only if the individual tests negative on the sixth day.

However, incoming travellers are not eligible for home quarantine if their journey to the destination requires a night halt.

The travellers have to declare the approval letter at the point of entry and arrange their transportation from the point of entry to the residence of quarantine. For the quarantine individuals to avoid contacting people on the way, private cars will be labelled with stickers by the authority to facilitate travel without having to stop on the way.

In case the traveller tests positive, they will be made to isolate for seven more days (from the day of the test) and end home quarantine on the seventh day without testing.

During home quarantine, the movement of the same household members will also be restricted. According to the notification, they will be monitored by the authority and any breach of protocols will be dealt with accordingly.

Meanwhile, the government recommends not choosing home quarantine if there are vulnerable household members such as the elderly and unvaccinated children at home.