English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Hoteliers relieved with the mandatory quarantine reinstated in Gelegphu

Jan 9, 2021

Business for some 27 hotels in Gelegphu is back on track after it remained idle for almost a week due to the suspension of the mandatory quarantine protocol. Mandatory quarantine for outbound travellers was reinstated on Wednesday last week after the relaxation of the lockdown.  

Quarantine for people travelling out of Gelegphu came to a halt after the country went into lockdown for the second time on 23rd December 2020. And without it, hoteliers said they would not be able to pay their rent. 

”My monthly rent ranges from Nu 70,000 to Nu 100,000. From one week quarantine, I earn around Nu 60,000 to Nu 70,000. It helps me pay my rent,” said Saran Gurung, one of the hoteliers. 

This, according to another hotelier Kada Dema, would not be sufficient if they have to pay their staff’s salary. ”His Majesty’s Relief Kidu helped our staff so far,” she added. 

Likewise, other hoteliers shared that if not for the quarantine protocol, it would be hard for them to make ends meet, let alone pay monthly rent.

The mandatory quarantine was reinstated for outbound travellers as southern districts are still considered high-risk zones. And according to the Medical Superintendent of the Central Regional Referral Hospital, Dorji Tshering, the seven-day quarantine is to make sure that outbound travellers are clean. 

Meanwhile, during the lockdown period, the Sarpang COVID-19 Taskforce tested about 5,000 people in over a week. All the results came negative. Another round of mass testing will begin on the 10th of January, 2021.  

With the lockdown relaxation, the task force has allowed the opening of all government offices with 50 per cent capacity. Likewise, financial institutions were also allowed to operate as usual, but with strict compliance with safety protocols. However, schools, entertainment centres, swimming pools, and social events involving more than six people are restricted.  

Likewise, non-contact sporting events such as badminton, cycling, and lawn tennis are permitted, without spectators. Meanwhile, religious activities will be allowed with permission from the task force.

Karma Wangdi

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