Screenshot/Embassy of Nepal

Nepalis who are in the U.S. are asked to register with the the Nepalese Embassy in order to return home, following a COVID-19 lockdown in the country since March.

Read the original story in Nepali at Khasokhas Weekly
Translation and additional reporting by Anuz Thapa

The Nepalese Embassy in the U.S. has started collecting the names of Nepali citizens who’ve been forced to stay in country due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first step in their potential return.

The embassy has urged Nepalese nationals to fill out a form on the embassy’s website which will start the process to take them home. Nepal closed its borders and suspended flights into the country on March 24, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread.

Pushpa Raj Bhattarai, acting consul general of Nepal in New York, said that their office has been getting a number of calls from Nepalese in city inquiring about their ability to return to Nepal.

“For the time being, we tell them to fill out the forms,” he said. “More than 600 have registered so far.”

On May 25, the Nepali government directed all its embassies to help bring citizens who are affected by the pandemic back home. The government has been arranging for flights to return citizens from certain cities abroad on a priority basis, including flights from New York expected to take place June 23, The Himalayan Times reported.

However, those returning will have to bear the air-fare cost and quarantine costs themselves if they choose to return. In addition to this, they are required to produce their negative COVID-19 test results.

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