Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a transmittable disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has resulted in the ongoing pandemic.
The first case of coronavirus was confirmed on January 23, 2020, in Nepal when a 31-year-old student, who had returned to Kathmandu from Wuhan in early January 2020. Nepal government then imposed a complete lockdown all over the country to control the pandemic in March 2020 to pay attention to the possibility of transmission of COVID-19. All the tourism activities such as trekking, expedition, hiking, tours & travel were postponed, which has direct long term effect on the tourism of businesses of Nepal. The daily lives of mountain guides, workers, hotels, restaurants, and mountain people are directly affected, and now we have good news that Nepal has opened for all these tourism activities from the 17th October, 2020.
Are you planning to travel to Nepal for trekking, tour, hiking, and expedition or climbing? If, yes then Nepal now has reopened for all these tourism activities from 17th October, 2020.
What are opened in Nepal from 17th October, 2020?
Which nationals are allowed to travel to Nepal?
Flights to and from Nepal are operated only from countries that have been less affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic so, all nationalities are welcome in Nepal, but travelers will only be able to fly in from low-risk countries.
What is the protocol to follow?
There are many safety protocols that travelers, trekking agencies, staff, hotels, transportations must follow while traveling in Nepal. I have summarized most of them below.
Require a Negative Covid-19 PCR Test
Travelers require to have a negative COVID -19 report no longer than 72 hours of your departure to fly Nepal, and this report is checked on your arrival at Kathmandu airport or entry points of Nepal.
Need to Obtain Nepal Visa in Advance
Travelers require to obtain a Nepal visa in advance before entry in Nepal from Nepal embassy/consulate/mission in your own country. If there is no embassy/consulate/mission in your country or region, You are required to take an approval letter from the Department of Tourism (for the expedition), and Nepal Tourism Board (for trekking, hiking, tours). which are done in collaboration with trekking, tour, or expedition company. You can travel and get on arrival visa once you present this document on your arrival at Kathmandu airport or entry point of Nepal.
Hotel Booking Proof Required
You are required to book a hotel in Kathmandu at least for the first seven nights as you need to stay for self-quarantine for seven days so, you need to present this hotel booking proof/voucher at the entry point in Nepal.
Need to stay in self-quarantine for seven days
You need to stay in Hotel quarantine for 7 Days once you arrive in Nepal. You then need to check PCR for COVID-19 on your expenses on the 5th day of your quarantine stay, and if you get the negative report, then you can start any trekking or tour on the 8th Day, and if you have a positive report then you need to stay in quarantine until you have COVID- 19 negatives.
Need to have COVID – 19 Insurance
You need to do insurance at least of US $5000.00 to cover the expenses in case of you have COVID-19 positive during your travel in Nepal.
Staff Insurance required
The staff, those work for tourists such as guide, porter, Sherpa, climbing guide, and drivers have to do COVID- 19 insurance of NPR 100000.00.
Looking at Gokyo Lake when going on Gokyo Lake & Renjo La Pass Trek.
All the rules & regulations given by the Tourism ministry and department of tourism of Nepal have to follow by all the people involved in tourism activities include travelers, which are:
Rules and Regulations to follow
- All the people must wear a face mask.
- All the people involved in tourism activities need to keep social distance while talking, trekking, walking, hiking, touring, eating, etc…
- All the people must carry sanitizer and must sanitize the times and again.
- All the travel vehicles such as cars, vans, and the bus must carry only half of passengers of its capacity to keep the distance.
- All the travel vehicle must sanitize once used.
- Only one traveler must stay in one room in the hotel unless they are from the same family.
- The hotel must clean/sanitize times & again.
- All the travelers must inform to the guide if you feel any symptoms of COVID- 19 or others.