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Nepal resumes international flightsNepal will allow scheduled flights by international airlines from August 17, a minister said today, nearly four months after suspending them to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.Wedged between China and India, Nepal imposed a nationwide lockdown, halting scheduled flights, in March when it reported its first confirmed cases of Covid-19.

So far Nepal has reported 17,844 infections including 40 deaths from the disease.

Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, relies on tourism, including mountaineering.

The decision to restart flights from Nepal’s only international airport in Kathmandu was taken at a cabinet meeting on Monday evening.

“We will prepare the safety rules that must be followed by the airlines to operate,” Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Yogesh Bhattarai told Reuters.

Deochandra Lal Karna, spokesperson for Kathmandu airport, said safety rules such as social distancing, the use of disinfectants and masks were already in place for evacuation flights specially chartered for nationals blocked due to the pandemic.

“Now airlines will submit their flight schedules for approval before starting services,” he said.

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