Inter-dzongkhag travel to start from today 

.. commuters should register at cpms.rbp.gov.bt 

Yangchen C Rinzin

Except for Samtse, Phuentsholing (red zone), Samdrupjongkhar, and Gelephu, commuters can travel freely across the country from today as the final phase of unlocking begins.

However, vehicles can carry only 50 percent of passenger capacity unless minors and elderlies from the same family.

The travellers must register with the Royal Bhutan Police prior to leaving respective dzongkhag through check post management system, which will keep the record of vehicles and people travelling via various checkpoints.

To facilitate smooth passage, the Road Safety and Travel Authority with support from information and communications ministry came up with the website http//:cmps.rbp.gov.bt.

RSTA officiating director general Ugyen Norbu said, “People can register directly with the citizenship identity card number through the website, give details of destination and passengers’ details.”

Details of those travelling in public transport would be automatically registered through RSTA while they book the bus ticket. Taxi association would ensure details of taxi passengers are registered.

Ugyen Norbu said in case if the driver does not have smartphones, the passenger can help register and also register other passengers. Taxis are now allowed to carry a maximum of three passengers: two at the back, one in front.

However, those travelling in private cars must register themselves and share the details of passengers travelling with them.

Ugyen Norbu said there is no need to deregister or inform RSTA or police if the journey is cancelled.

“They should make sure to register next time when they actually travel. Once you’ve registered people should not wait for any confirmation or message from RSTA or police. They can proceed to travel after registering.”

There is no need for Covid-19 test to travel to other dzongkhags except for Southern dzongkhags. No one can travel to other dzongkhags from four southern dzongkhags as of now.

However, as per the press release from Prime Minister’s Office, if a person is travelling from high risk to low-risk areas, people will have to undergo a seven-day mandatory facility quarantine at the place of origin. A Covid-19 test would be also carried out at the end of the quarantine period.

In case of an emergency, travellers will be tested and released on the same day.

The press release also stated that people will have to wait until all unlocking formalities are complete to travel from low risk to high-risk areas and regional taskforce members will update on the stages of unlocking and subsequent relaxations.

But elderlies and individuals with co-morbid conditions will be discouraged from travelling to high-risk areas.

Those wishing to travel from high risk to another high-risk area need not go through the quarantine protocols unless specified by the health ministry.

Ugyen Norbu said, for instance, if a person needs to travel to Samtse via Phuentsholing, the person can register and travel, but they cannot halt in Phuentsholing. Similarly, if a person needs to return to gewogs under Gelephu dungkhag, people cannot halt at Gelephu Thromde.

If a person is travelling to Trashigang from Thimphu, there is no need to register in every checkpost in different dzongkhags. “If a person has registered Trashigang as a destination, it’s clear he is going to cross certain dzongkhags.”

Colonel Phub Gyeltshen said that they have put 32 check posts in 20 dzongkhags to ensure movements are well monitored.

“Since it’s a new system, there will be glitches but we’ve SOPs ready.  Police personnel will help people register at the check post if they cannot register or can seek help by calling 1010.”

The registration was initiated after learning lessons from the recent lockdown. The registration will help and ease trace people’s travel history in case there is a positive case.

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