Bandipur - one of best tourist destination in Nepal
The government of Nepal 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 it's 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 7 days hotel booking confirmation in Kathmandu for one week self quarantine.
- He/she has an insurance of $5,000 for 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 of Nepal / counselor. 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.
Trekkers walk by a prayers engraved rock at Benkar Village in Khumbu to Everest Base Camp
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. Only one passenger is allowed to sit in one row of seat line so the bus ticket cost is increased by 50%Lukla airport; the main gateway to Everest Base Camp Trek
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.
Is Nepal going to resume the trekking & mountaineering soon?
Yes; the current cabinet meetings made a decision setting to open for tourism industry such as tour, trekking and mountaineering from October 17. The government decided removing ongoing pandemic-restrictions. A meeting of the cabinet held on 15th September took a decision to this effect, the newly appointed government spokesperson, said.
Nepalese and foreigners will be allowed to go for trekking and mountaineering which are, at the moment, suspended owing to the fear of further spread of up growing coronavirus infections in the country. The mountaineering department has already allowed two groups for the expedition of two different mountains. Bahraini Royal Guard expedition group of 18 people are going to climb Mt manaslu – the seventh highest peak in the world though the Covid-19 cases does not seem to be improving at the moment.
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.