The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Bhutan and there is no U.S. diplomatic presence there. Consular issues relating to Bhutan, including assistance to U.S. citizens, are handled by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Read the Department of State’s Country Information Sheet on Bhutan or U.S. Embassy New Delhi’s A-Z Subject Index for additional information.
The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi has consular responsibilities for Bhutan and maintains frequent and friendly communications with the Bhutanese Embassy in New Delhi. A consular officer periodically visits Bhutan to renew passports, provide notarial services, and take applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.
Because there is no U.S. Embassy presence in Bhutan, services to U.S. citizens in Bhutan are limited. For example, getting your lost or stolen U.S. passport replaced can be complicated and costly. If you are without a passport you will be required to seek permission to exit Bhutan from Bhutanese immigration authorities, and also obtain advance permission to enter the receiving country from that country’s immigration authorities. The receiving country’s immigration officials may or may not grant such permission. Often, travelers are required to return to the United States to have their passport replaced.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- In the event of an emergency, contact 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
Alerts and Messages
Last updated: 02/22/22
*** Effective November 8, 2021, all non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.
*** Effective December 6, 2021, all international air passengers boarding a flight to the United States who are 2 years or older, including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents, will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test administered within no more than one (1) calendar day before their flight (regardless of vaccination status).
Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis. Please visit the CDC webpages for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Bhutan. Case numbers in Bhutan have been on an upward trend since early January 2022 with 3,651 current active cases in the country as of February 22. All travelers, without exception, must undergo a period of quarantine upon arrival (14 days for vaccinated travelers, 21 days for unvaccinated travelers). Country conditions can change at any time. Travelers are advised to follow the National Situational Update for the latest COVID-19 information. Updates are also available on the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently lists a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for travel to Bhutan due to COVID-19 and the Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory. A Level 4 Travel Advisory encourages U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Bhutan due to COVID-19. The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Bhutan and all consular services for U.S. citizens in Bhutan are provided by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
U.S. citizens who travel to Bhutan are strongly urged to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before travel and continue to take personal health safety measures to protect themselves, including practicing social or physical distancing, cleaning hands with soap/hand sanitizer, wearing well-fitted masks, and avoiding crowded areas with poor ventilation. The CDC strongly recommends that U.S. citizens get flu shots to better protect themselves from a major flu outbreak and reduce the need to access the local health system at this time. Finally, U.S. citizens should continue to obey measures introduced by Bhutanese officials designed to mitigate COVID-19 outbreaks in their areas.
As of mid-January, several parts of Bhutan have been under lockdown, with limited access to services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and medical supply stores. Schools are planning to return from the winter holidays to in person or online instruction, depending on the COVID situation—including vaccination status—in each locale. For specific information about classes, please check with your educational institution. Social gathering venues and retail shops are largely open but may have limits on the number of patrons allowed inside. Social gatherings are generally kept small. Whenever a virus outbreak occurs, the specific geographic zone with the outbreak will be placed under lockdown. Each zone contains grocery stores, medical supply shops, and other essential stores that households can access at different times. During a lockdown, movement within zones is staggered and limited, and movement between zones is strictly prohibited.
Face masks are almost universally required to be worn in public, especially in urban areas, indoors, and on public transportation. These regulations are being strictly enforced, and U.S. citizens should be aware that failure to adhere to mask-wearing norms reflects poorly on foreign residents. Every shop/store provides hand sanitizer and a Druk Trace App code. All individuals are encouraged to download the Druk Trace App and use it to mark their presence in all public places to assist with accurate contact tracing.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Bhutan? Yes, tests are available at the numerous flu clinics located throughout Bhutan.
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes, test results are usually available within 24 hours.
- U.S. citizens should contact the national hotline by dialing 2121 to schedule an appointment for testing.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the Royal Government of Bhutan approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes, the Royal Government of Bhutan has approved Covishield (AstraZeneca), Moderna, Pfizer BioNTech, and Sinopharm for individuals 18 years and older, regardless of nationality.
- Information about vaccination sites is available at http://www.moh.gov.bt/vaccination-sites/.
- The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
- Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
- Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
Entry and Exit Requirements
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter Bhutan? Yes, depending on the purpose of travel. U.S. citizens may enter if they are experts/consultants traveling to Bhutan to render critical services or if they are residents of Bhutan. Entry for tourist purposes is permitted under specific conditions—please check the website of the Tourism Council of Bhutan for more information: https://www.tourism.gov.bt/.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No. However, quarantine is required for all arriving in Bhutan (see below).
- All individuals entering Bhutan must quarantine at a government quarantine center upon arrival. Vaccinated individuals must quarantine for 14 days; those who are unvaccinated or arriving with unvaccinated children must quarantine for 21 days.
- The Royal Government of Bhutan also requires that all international arrivals complete an Online Health Declaration form prior to arrival.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes. All individuals entering Bhutan are required to undergo a period of quarantine upon arrival. Cost of the quarantine and any medical care for foreigners are the responsibility of the traveler.
- Is a curfew in place? No, but businesses close at 9 or 10 p.m. and there are restrictions of movement in areas where there has been a COVID-19 outbreak.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes—parts of Bhutan are under COVID-19 related lockdown. The government requires a 7-day quarantine when traveling from designated high-risk areas to low-risk areas.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes, all travelers—regardless of nationality and without exception—must quarantine for 14 (if vaccinated) or 21 (if unvaccinated) days upon arrival at a government quarantine center. Cost of the quarantine is the responsibility of the traveler.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes, flights are available from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Thailand. Flight availability is subject to change. Travelers are encouraged to contact the airlines directly for up-to-date schedules. Additionally, travelers are encouraged to review the COVID-19 information pages for the countries they will transit through to determine if there are other requirements needed for their journey. These are pages are available on the U.S. embassy website for each country.
- Prior to arrival, all passengers are required to complete a Health Declaration Form.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes, although hours of operation vary depending on local COVID measures. Please follow local media for measures in your area and verify with official Royal Government of Bhutan sources.
Fines for Non-Compliance
- Individuals who break quarantine may be fined and/or detained. The severity of the punishment for non-compliance may vary.
- U.S. Embassy New Delhi provides visa and U.S. citizenship services to individuals in Bhutan. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi is open for reduced routine visa and citizens services. We continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Due to the required quarantine for travelers to Bhutan, U.S. consuls are unable to travel to Bhutan to provide services for children with expired U.S. passports or for infants who need a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. We encourage parents of children in need of citizenship documents to notify us at ACSND@state.gov. For information on visas, click here, and for U.S. citizens click here.
- U.S. citizens and visa applicants who are granted appointments at U.S. Embassy New Delhi or any U.S. consulate in India must wear masks upon entering the premises and are prohibited from entering these facilities if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to anyone known to have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days.
Below are sources of local COVID-19 information in English. U.S. citizens should closely monitor trusted local news sources and local authorities’ communications for updates and information. This list is not exhaustive:
The Bhutanese Ministry of Health has a 24/7 hotline at 2121 for COVID inquires and 6060 for elderly individuals in need.