Nepal Government on 15 September decided to permit foreigners to visit in the country earlier for trekking and mountaineering purpose effective from October 17th 2020, more than six months after all international travel had been banned in the country because of the global corona virus pandemic. Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has issued new guidelines for foreign tourists aimed at minimizing the spread of Covid-19 during mountaineering and trekking activities, the media reported on Tuesday 29th September 2020.
Has Nepal resumed the trekking & mountaineering?
The cabinet meetings made a decision setting to open for tourism industry such as tour, trekking and mountaineering earlier. Now the government has lifted the travel ban and issued travel safety protocol that will be implemented that has been awaiting by trekking enthusiasts and travel agencies worldwide who loves Nepal and its Himalaya.
What kind of safety protocol will be enforced by government?
- Travelers must carry a negative tested PCR report conducted not more than 72 hours prior entering to Nepal.
- Besides report, one must have 5 days hotel booking confirmation in Kathmandu for self-quarantine.
- He/she has an insurance of $ 5,000 against covid-19.
- The traveler must also undergo a PCR test at their own expense on the fifth day of being quarantined and if the result is positive, the person must stay in quarantine for as long as they do not test negative.
- The trekking or mountaineering agency must insure their staff against coronavirus for a sum of 100,000 NPR prior to applying for permit.
- Travelers should have Nepal visa in their home country from Embassy / counselor of Nepal. If no embassy in the home country; an on arrival visa will be provided at Tribhuvan international airport with co-ordination of local travel agency in Kathmandu with which he/she will be trekking or climbing peaks.
Which nationals are allowed to visit to Nepal?
Flights will initially only fly from countries that have been less affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic. The government did not elaborate on which countries would be first, but did say that more countries will be added gradually. This could mean that all nations are welcome in Nepal but travelers will only be able to fly in from low risk countries.
What about domestic flight and long-distance transportation?
Long-route public transportation services and domestic flights are already reopened in Nepal. Travelers taking domestic flights and riding local buses will have to follow the safety guidelines strictly by wearing mask, sanitizing hands, maintaining social distance.
Is entry into Nepal based on physical location, residency or nationality?
It appears at this time that it will only matter which country you are flying from as Nepal will only open to countries with low occurrence of Covid-19 in the first phase of reopening. Nepal may allow low risk countries like East Asia Europe and China. There is chances of not allowing Indian nationals in first phase of tourism reopen as India has worse condition of Covid-19 currently.
What is open in Nepal?
As of Sept 15th, 2020 the following businesses will resume operations
- Hotels and accommodation facilities
- Tourism related activities
- Tourist buses from Kathmandu to all other major cities.
- Long-route local transportation.
- Mountain flights and domestic airlines.
Safety Protocol in Nepal
Our guides and office team in Nepal have been fully briefed on Covid-19 safety and will be strictly following safety procedures. We will be taking the following steps to ensure your safety during your trip.
- All team members have been trained in Covid-19 prevention protocol.
- Cleaning and disinfection of all trekking gear and equipment after every trek.
- Proper hand sanitization of crew members and guides.
- All food packaging and cooking areas will be properly cleaned and sanitized.
- All crew members and office staff will practice social distancing.
- All crew members will have a health check and temperature screening before interacting with guests.
2021 Trekking Season:
Now that Nepal has officially reopened we have started running our treks according to schedule. There are several factors we are encouraging our guests to consider while they plan their trek:-
- Entry into Nepal – You must arrange your visa prior to arriving in Nepal. In addition you need to have proof of a Covid-19 negative test upon entry as well as $5,000 in insurance that specifically covers Covid-19. We will assist with any visa requirements prior to your arrival.
- Flight into Nepal – International flights have resumed to Nepal. If your flight schedule is changed we will work with you to make sure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible. With the travel restrictions in place many airlines are offering free cancellation or adjustments for your flights if your travel dates are impacted. Please check the terms on your ticket and consider getting supplemental travel insurance to cover any delays or cancellations if this situation impacts your trip.
- Quarantine Requirements – Visitors will be required to quarantine for 5 days and take an additional Covid-19 test on the 5th day of the quarantine before trekking. Note: Indian Travelers are covered under the India – Nepal Travel Bubble and are not required to quarantine. They are required to have a negative PCR Covid-19 test upon arrival and departure taken within the last 72 hours.
- Covid-19 Testing Requirements – In addition to the testing requirement for entry some airlines and/or countries may require a recent Covid-19 test before boarding your departure flight from Nepal. Please verify this with your airline before your trip. It takes up to 72 hours to get your Covid-19 test result in Nepal so if required please plan the extra time at the end of your schedule accordingly. Tests cost around $100 and we can assist with the arrangements.
March 18, 2021