You would probably only intend to trek to Nepal once in your life. We bet you will fall in love with Nepal and return to explore another part of a beautiful, diverse country. There is a lack of information on preparing and undertaking a trek in Nepal post-COVID – 19. Discover what you should expect if you are trekking in Nepal after the coronavirus.
For long-term predictions, it is too early. Still, we hope this will provide you with valuable information and guidance on planning future trips to Nepal post-lockdown.
Now, I’m pretty sure you will have many questions when we say this. Some of the questions we face are: is Trekking in Nepal safe after coronavirus? Is it dangerous to travel to Nepal? What are the health and safety measures to travel to Nepal? Or how many days do you need to stay in quarantine?
What are the current scenarios of Coronavirus in Nepal?
Nepal Government imposed a strict lockdown due to the 2nd case of COVID–19 found in March. Nepal’s government suspended on-arrival visas and revoked all expeditions to control the coronavirus pandemic. Then the nation turned into a lockdown for two months and started the three-phase restart protocols.
The government lifted the lockdown in the less affected areas. In the first phase, the less affected regions like Kathmandu opened for the essential safety protocols.
At the time, the Government of Nepal resumed international and domestic flights from 1st Sept 2020. From 17th Oct 2020, the government has opened up mountaineering and trekking activities by taking health safety measures.
Meanwhile, the high-profile expedition team comprising the Prince of Bahrain was the triumphant ascension of the Lobuche Peak. It becomes the first ascent of the mountains in the fall. The prince of Bahrain and his team will head for the Manaslu Expedition after the Lobuche Peak Climbing in the Everest region.
What is the impact of Coronavirus on Nepal Tourism?
Tourism is one of Nepal’s leading industries. The impact of the coronavirus on Nepal tourism is estimated to be greater than the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. It would undoubtedly take considerable time to rebound back to its usual condition for the tourism industry. Nepal Tourism Board is gearing up to recover and plans to keep travelers and workers safe once the international restriction and lockdown ends.
According to the tourism statistics of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, Nepal hosted 1.17 million tourists in 2018 and contributed 7.9% of the GDP. Likewise, Nepal welcomed 1.19 million international tourists in 2019. Nepal earns $4 million annually by granting Everest Expedition permits and total tourism revenue.
Nepal’s government planned to celebrate the year 2020 as Visit Nepal Year. It officially launched on 1st Jan the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ campaign to bring 2 million tourists. Visit Nepal 2020 is supposed to have more jobs and revenue, but this has been demolished.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government halted all movements. The lockdown was declared before starting Nepal’s major trekking and climbing season, from March to May.
When will you resume travel to Nepal?
As of 1st Sept, the government officially has resumed international commercial flights and has taken safety guides to reduce the outbreak. Only Nepali nationals and diplomats are permitted to enter the country. Explicit confirmation and details for non-essential travel to Nepal for foreign nationals will begin on 17th Oct 2020.
To restart tourism in the autumn of 2020, the Government of Nepal has instructed all tourism workers to adopt the ‘New Normal’ in daily operations. All airlines, hotels, restaurants, and so on are preparing to follow the new standard guidelines to resume business.
The government has put forward safety protocols and procedures for the tourism sector to provide tourists with a safe and COVID-free visit to Nepal.
For the next season, trekking and climbing permits will be available for all international tourists. A mandatory RT-PCR negative report for COVID-19, not exceeding 72 hours from boarding the plane, will be required under the current protocol.
All our upcoming trips will comply with the protocols and safety guidelines put out by Nepal’s government and the Ministry of Health.
Safety protocols and Operational guidelines
The government has been working on resuming the travel industry in Nepal. The Department of Tourism officially announced opening the tourism industry on 17th Oct 2020 with a safety health guideline and protocol.
The Government of Nepal has set the guidelines for ‘COVID-19 Safety and Hygiene Protocols for the Tourism Industry’ for hotels, tour operators, and tourism-related services to minimize risks for trekkers and tourism service providers.
To build on travelers’ confidence, Nepal’s government has asked tourism service providers to compete for the best health and safety protocols in place. The protocols are the same as the global standard for the ‘New Normal.’
As of now, the government of Nepal still hopes to restart tourism in the coming fall season. Preparations are carried out to start up a business in the country.
Why do you travel to Nepal after Coronavirus?
Nepal tends to rely heavily on tourism, and with the outbreak of COVID-19, tourism in Nepal has been hard hit. The pandemic has closed everything from major tourism firms such as hotels, airlines, and tour operators to small businesses and tourism workers. The recovery will take a while.
Nepal is a popular adventure travel destination and hosts various landscapes allowing everyone to participate. Still, the country represents diverse landscapes, cultures, and religions and offers lifetime experiences.
Nepal has many reasons for being a great holiday destination. But why should you visit Nepal after having the coronavirus?
- The COVID-19 pandemic shows us the worth of freedom – freedom to travel and the gratitude of nature.
- Nepal can be a great destination since every activity in Nepal is about discovering yourself or your existence.
- Traveling to Nepal is accessible compared to most other countries. Post-pandemic travel around the world is going to be expensive. Nepal may be the perfect choice for you, as the country offers many options for accommodation, food, travel, etc.
- The mountainous area of Nepal is still safe. Yes, of course, The Terai belt is the most affected area of COVID-19, which lies in the southern part of Nepal, near India’s border.
- Due to travel restrictions and lockdowns, the weather and air quality have been improved. The sky is open, and the views extending to horizons are visible. There has been a drastic reduction in litter and waste in the mountains.
Trekking in Nepal post-COVID
Most of Nepal’s trekking destinations are safe, although the coronavirus has spread nationwide. Due to its remoteness, there is no positive case in Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, and other major trekking destinations.
The Ministry of Tourism has asked all lodge owners and local authorities to mandate the safety protocol strictly.
Most famous trekking areas like Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, etc., can see fewer travelers than expected. Still, you should always be careful and follow strict protocols. We also mandated new guidelines on our trek to help minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Likewise, we have also put strict protocols for camping treks such as Upper Dolpo, Saribung, and Lumba Sumba Pass Trek. So you may doubt free travel with us.
How do we prepare for our trips or Travel with Confidence?
At Himalayan Exploration, we esteem the safety of our customers and employees as our highest priority. COVID-19 is a pandemic that has hit the travel industry worldwide once in a century.
The following Protocols have been adopted to fight COVID-19 to provide a safe and wonderful holiday once tourism has resumed: Clients must provide 30 days of travel history before coming to Nepal.
- A free COVID-19 certificate may be requested.
- A briefing on COVID-19, prevention, and guidelines will provide once you arrive in Kathmandu.
- Customers should comply with the emergency protocols adopted by the government of Nepal to conduct the trip responsibly.
- Activity leaders must keep the Daily Leader Log in a preset format to record the itinerary. Contact points should be needed to trace contact and include daily temperature checks. The clients require a self-administered symptom form.
- All activity leaders should provide daily briefings on sanitation, physical distancing, and protocols for emergencies.
- Keep in touch with the office to report and update the overall situation and adapt according to the condition whenever possible.
- Every leader should have First Aid Kits with extra masks, disposable gloves, soap, and sanitizers.
- Leaders should be mindful of minimizing contamination in the communities where the tours and adventure activities are happening.
- To ensure minimum risk of contamination and maintain a high hygiene level, activity leaders should work alongside other leaders in a destination.
- Updated first-aid kit.
Tips for traveling to Nepal post-COVID-19
Traveling may not be the same for a certain period. Still, we should help and prepare ourselves adequately to eliminate COVID-19 and ease the risk of spreading and contracting the virus. Maintaining social distancing and good hygiene practices will help reduce the risk of a pandemic.
- Do not travel with any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Consult your travel medical practitioner before your trip.
- Bring your mask, gloves, and sanitizer while you’re traveling.
- Don’t shake your hands. Ok, or Namaste, instead.
- Keep at least 3 feet of physical distance between yourself and others.
- Make sure to practice good respiratory hygiene with you and the people around you. It means that when you cough or sneeze, you cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue.
- Wear a mask to cover your face while you’re traveling.
- Bring your first aid kit when traveling and know its use.
- We advise all our clients to take their equipment for trekking & climbing for safety purposes. It also includes the Down Jacket & Sleeping Bag for trekking trips and climbing gear for climbing trips.
- It would help if you had travel medical insurance covering helicopter evacuation in case of any sickness. The insurance company will ensure that travelers will medevac to the nearest hospital.
- Travelers shall agree to follow the organization’s health and safety policy in case of any suspected virus transmission or disease within the community or the region.
- Keep the latest updates from reputable agencies, such as the WHO or the local and national health authorities.
- Travelers are encouraged to get a medical check-up if they have any symptoms upon return.
- Review your country’s international travel advice and keep your embassy or consulate updated as you travel.
Preparation Tips for Trekking in Nepal
Fitness is an essential benchmark for trekking; a trek like Everest Base Camp requires a lot of training before you get on the trail. You must train and practice yourself for those epic adventures correctly.