KATHMANDU 

Nepal is lifting a 4-month nationwide lockdown from Tuesday midnight, a government spokesman said, citing the decline in the daily number of coronavirus cases.

Yubaraj Khatiwada, the finance minister and the government spokesman, said the decision came on the recommendation of the Health Ministry.

On Monday, the government said it will resume domestic and international flights from Aug. 17. The country’s international borders will also reopen the same day.

The country’s tourism sector that mainly relies on foreign travelers was one of the worst-hit sectors in the country.

In mid-June, the government had begun to ease the lockdown to lessen the economic fallout from the pandemic. It allowed private vehicles to ply the road on the basis of odd and even numbers.

On Sunday, authorities allowed public vehicles to run in the capital Kathmandu. The long-route buses will also be allowed to operate from Aug. 17.

In line with Tuesday’s decision, restaurants will be allowed to open from July 30.

Nepal has so far reported 17,844 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 40 deaths. Authorities said measures such as wearing mask and maintaining social distance will remain in place.

Though the government claimed the number of infections has fallen, critics say it could be due to the low testing rates.

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