Nepal to Re-open Tourism for Trekking and Mountaineering Post-Covid-19


4Min to Read | By Himalayan Windows | Mar 19, 2021

Since the government of Nepal have decided to reopen the country for trekking and mountaineering activites to interantional tourists, some trekkers and mountainers have started to enter the country  from last October, 2020. Foreign tourists now can travel to Nepal  by air with conditions for trekking, tours, and mountaineering after several months of lockdown due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic. 

View from the Gokyo Ri – the Everest Region  | Check the itinerary for Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Trek

 

Update: 19 March 2021

Travelers from aboard who have been vaccinated against COVID-19  and can show a current negative report for Corona will no longer have to undergo one-week mandatory quarantine in Nepal.

Speaking to the press today, the tourism minister of Nepal has confirmed that the decision to remove the quarantine requirement for foreigner tourists was taken by the cabinet meeting held on 18th March 2021.  Based on the News from the Kathmandu Post, tourists coming to Nepal have to submit documentation or cards as proof that they have been vaccinated.

However, the decision for Visa-on-arrival is yet to be made; some rumors say that the government is also planning to implement Visa-on-arrival for foreign tourists.  As of now, all the foreigners except diplomats and foreigners of Nepalese origin, should obtain a tourist entry visa from the Nepalese diplomatic missions abroad, else should have a pre-approval/recommendation letter from the government authorities of Nepal for ensuring via on arrival.

Until now, a week quarantine in a hotel in Kathmandu was mandatory for foreign tourists including 5000 USD travel insurance. Moreover, tourists are also required to take a PCR test on the fifth day of the hotel quarantine on their own expenses and they will be allowed to travel if the test comes out negative.

 

 

 

Update: 12 February 2021

Mulling over the global pandemic Covid-19 situation, the government of Nepal (GoN), as per the decision of 25th November 2020, 25th December 2020, and 24th January 2021 has provisioned the following conditions for the foreigner’s arrival in Nepal:

1. The following passengers and their family members can obtain a visa on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport without any pre-approval letter or recommendations.

  • Foreigners holding Diplomatic/Offical passport or UN Laissez-Passer.
  • Foreign Employees working in UN agencies and other international organizations in Nepal
  • Foreigners of Nepalese origin (birthplace as Nepal stated in the passport) or relatives of Nepali citizen or No Residential Nepali.

2. All the foreigners except mentioned above without a prior visa of Nepal should obtain a tourist entry visa from the Nepalese diplomatic missions abroad, else should have a pre-approval/recommendation letter from the government authorities of Nepal for ensuring via on arrival.

3. The entry/exit points at the land border remain closed for all the foreigners until further notice, except for those with a pre-approval/recommendation letter from GoN.

4. All travelers must have a COVID-19 negative report (RT-PCR/Gene Xpert/True NAAT or equivalent obtained within 72 hours prior to their departure from the first port of embarkation (72 hours is not counted from the transits or layover), children below 5 years accompanied with parents are exempted of submitting such report.

5. Issuance of tourist entry visas from Nepalese diplomatic missions abroad is resumed as usual.

6. As per the GoN decision dated 24th January 2021 all passengers from the countries with the new COVID-19 variant (SARRS-COV-2 VUI 2020/12/10), as the first port of embarkation or transits are provisioned to follow the enlisted quarantine and health protocols:

  • Should obtain a prior visa from the Nepali missions abroad,
  • Are subjected to hotel quarantine of 10 days at their own cost, in the hotels enlisted by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation. After 5 days of the hotel quarantine, those with COVID-19 negative reports are allowed to spend their remaining 5 Days in-home quarantine.
  • Nepali nationals, NRNs, and their children visiting Nepal to attend the funeral or severe medical treatment of their relations can manage an alternate quarantine in coordination with the CCMC secretariat,
  • Foreigners working in diplomatic missions in Nepal and international organizations can manage their quarantine as per the request of their respective organizations,
  • Professionals traveling abroad for official programs and returning within 5 days of their departure are allowed to enter Nepal on the basis of the COVID-19 negative report submitted at the time of departure.

7. All the travelers are subjected to follow health and security-related protocol s of GoN.

8. TD and emergency passport holders are not eligible to get a visa on arrival at the entry points.

–  Updated on 10th February 2021 by the  Department of Immigration (DoI)

–  Source Link:  https://www.immigration.gov.np/post/updated-notice-regarding-arrival-in-nepal 

 

Update: 15 December 2020

 

Nepal reopens to foreign tourists coming by air, land border crossings still closed!

Nepal has opened its doors to foreign tourists after restricting them to enter the country for several months as the country battled the Coronavirus (Covid-19 Pandemic). All kinds of tourist visas have been restored, and now international tourists are free to fly into the country for trekking/tour activities. But, land border-crossings are still closed, according to the KathmanduPost.

However, the health and security-related protocols that have been prepared earlier are to be followed by every foreigner including seven-day mandatory hotel quarantine.

(Check below to know the health and security-related protocols prepared by the government of Nepal)

Update: 15 October 2020

 

Government pushes back reopen date for welcoming tourists as new COVID cases surge in Nepal

Due to the present scenarios of an uncontrollable rise in the number of Coronavirus cases, the Nepal government has pushed back the date to reopen the country for tourism. The government’s earlier decision to reopen tourism from mid-October has been shifted to mid-November (17 November 2020), following the same protocols updated on 25 September below.

Tourism entrepreneurs have demanded to come with a solid plan rather than keep changing. Also, demanded to waive off 7 days mandatory quarantine and COVID insurance. Because this kind of unclear decision from the government on reopening the country to tourists would give a negative impression and difficult for tourists to plan the trip for the next fall. The autumn season is the best time of the year for trekking in Nepal. Trekkers would love to come to Nepal during the autumn  (September, October, and November) season for Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp  Trek, Langtang Valley trek and etc. Also, the biggest festivals of Hindus such as Dashain and Tihar fall during the same season.

 

Update: 25 September 2020

 

Nepal has officially decided to resume tourism from 17th October 2020. Tourists now can fly to Kathmandu from 17th October for trekking and mountaineering. Although, every tourist arriving in Nepal must follow the protocol issued by the Ministry of culture, tourism, and civil aviation for the safety and protection against the risk of Covid-19.

 

The tourism protocols issued by the Ministry of culture, tourism, and civil aviation:
  • All tourists coming to Nepal for trekking tours, mountaineering must acquire a tourist visa before arriving in Nepal.
  • In the case of countries where visa provision is not available, the trekking team or a tourist can coordinate with the travel company based in Nepal for arrangements of prior approval of arriving in Nepal. The Nepal-based agency will submit all the prescribed details of the clients/trekkers to the department of Tourism (DoT) for expedition teams and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) for trekkers for the recommendation of the visa to the Department of Immigration.

 

Tourists arriving in Nepal must present the following documents to the department of immigration
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) NEGATIVE report taken 72 hours before departing the home country.
  • Visa or prior approval document (ref. given in the above points) for entry to Nepal.
  • A hotel booking for at least 7 days quarantine in Nepal, it is a MUST to stay hotel-quarantine for seven days upon arrival in Nepal –  Although, the Government of Nepal is reviewing the protocol if they can wave-off the 7-Day quarantine for tourists due to the criticism from the stakeholders. 
  • Insurance of at least 5000 USD (Five Thousand US Dollars) per person against COVID-19.
  • Tourists are required to take a PCR test on the 5th day of the hotel quarantine at their expenses and shall be allowed to proceed for trekking and expedition if the PCR report is NEGATIVE.
  • If the PCR report comes out POSITIVE, the quarantine shall be extended until the RT PCR report is Negative.

 

 

—-

According to The Kathmandu Post, after the decision of the government on Monday to allow domestic airlines as well as long-distance public/tourist transport services from 21 September 2020, the government of Nepal has also announced to re-open mountaineering and trekking destinations to the domestic and international trekkers.

The government of Nepal has also lifted the restrictions on foreign tourists’ entry to the country following the proper government health protocols although international flights have been allowed to operate since 1st September 2020.

The foreign Minister cum government spokesperson Mr. Pradeep Gyawali told the media that domestic flights, all long-distance public/tourists transport, and international tourists (for trekking and mountaineering only) have been allowed to resume following the health protocols to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

 

Good news is right after the government announced to reopen tourism, a jumbo team of Royal Guard of Bahrain including a prince has arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport on 16th September to climb the Lobuche Peak (6119m) and Mt. Manaslu (8163m).

 

The officials say that the government has now lifted restrictions on the foreign tourists coming to Nepal for trekking and mountaineering activities and there is a discussion in the cabinet about re-opening the country for foreign tourists for touring around Nepal on a trial basis. This means we can expect the decision of reopening the country for foreign tourists for all types of activities is soon to be made.

 

Poonhill view View of Annapurna including Fishtail from Ghorepani Poonhill 

The government has also decided to increase the frequency of international flights and passengers, however, it depends on the situation how the Covid-19 cases take place, and the type of protocols will be imposed by the government of Nepal.

We expect the tourism of Nepal will bounce back soon and everything goes back to normal. Stay safe and healthy!

 

This article was first published on 16th September 2020 and updated on 12th February 2021.


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