India-Bhutan border gates set to reopen from September 23
India-Bhutan border gates at Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu along the Assam frontier will reopen for tourists from September 23. This move comes after a hiatus of 2.5 years, the first time after COVID-19 pandemic hit the world.
As per the reports, since the cases of COVID-19 have now subsided, the respective governments are all geared up to reopen the India-Bhutan border from September 23. Referring to this, Tashi Penjore, the Himalayan kingdom`s Director (law and order) of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs added that the Government of Bhutan has officially announced that the international border with India will be opened on September 23 as COVID cases have subsided. He also stated that they are now all ready to open the border and offer visitors a good experience.
The Minister further urged Indian tourists to visit different places in Bhutan after entering the country through the Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar gates. He added that earlier they had issued only entry permits through Phuentsholing and Paro, but have now added three additional entry gates for tourists.
He further added that a Substantial Development Fund (SDF) will be charged from tourists, which will be spent for improving services and infrastructure, besides environmental conservation.
As regarding tour packages, the Bhutan government has planned eco-tourism, bird-watching and other packages for visitors. To ensure travellers enjoy seamless travel, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has also been chalked out. The Minister also informed that visitors who plan to halt the night and travel beyond the designated points, will be charged INR 1200.
Also, do note that respective officials have urged tourists to bring their voter ID cards and other relevant documents while visiting the Himalayan country.