India-Bhutan border gates to reopen on September 23 after 2.5 years as Covid-19 cases reside

New Delhi: India-Bhutan border gates at Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu along the Assam frontier are set to reopen for tourists from September 23 after a two-and-half-year hiatus induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the Covid-19 cases have now subsided, the respective governments have decided to reopen the India-Bhutan border from September 23.

“Government of Bhutan has officially announced that the international border with India will be opened on Sept 23 as Covid cases have subsided. We prepare to open the border and give visitors a good experience,” said Tashi Penjore, the Himalayan kingdom`s Director (law and order) of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs. 

“Over the last two-and-half years, many officials on both sides have changed and we were not able to meet and establish friendship and person-to-person contacts which are essential for people residing along the border areas of the two countries. We look forward to more such visits,” he added.

The decision comes after a general meeting was held in the regional headquarters of Sashastra Seema Bal located at Chaprakata in the Bongaigaon district of Assam between Tashi Panjore along with the Commandant of the 15th Battalion of Sashastra Seema Bal and in-charge of Regional Headquarters Neeraj Chand and all the SSB officials.

During that meeting, the neighbouring country Bhutan closed the India-Bhutan international gate for COVID in 2019. Now, almost 4 years later the borders will be reopened on September 23, 2022.

Tashi Penjore, Director of Law and Order Department, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bhutan, Deputy Commissioner of Bhutan, Superintendent of Police, and several officers were present at SSB Headquarters today regarding the same subject. 

(With agency inputs)