Nepal issues new guidelines for tourists arriving for mountaineering amid COVID-19 pandemic

Nepal has issued new guidelines for foreign tourists arriving in the country for mountaineering, including carrying a PCR test report conducted not more than 72 hours ago, in order to minimise the possible spread of coronavirus infection, a media report said on Tuesday.

According to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation , the travellers must have a booking-document for the hotel wherein they will stay at least seven days in quarantine, the Himalayan Times reported.

“The travellers must carry with themselves a PCR test report conducted not more than 72 hours ago, attesting that the person has tested negative for COVID-19. Along with the report, the traveller must have booking-documents for the hotel wherein they will stay for at least seven days in quarantine,” the paper said, citing the guidelines.

Nepal, which has reported 74,745 COVID-19 cases and 481 deaths so far, resumed the mountaineering activities from July 30, five months after they were halted due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry said the tourists must secure an entry-visa, or an entry-permit in the absence of visa-provision in their countries in coordination with respective agencies.

According to the new guidelines, the visitor must provide papers proving they have an insurance of USD 5,000.

In addition, the traveller must also undergo a PCR test at their own expense on the fifth day of being quarantined. They may proceed for the purported activity at the end of the quarantine period only on testing negative for the disease.

“If the test results in a positive, the person must stay in quarantine for as long as they do not test negative,” the paper said.

The Ministry also stated that the trekking or mountaineering agency must insure travellers from Nepal against coronavirus for a sum of Rs 100,000 prior to applying for a permit.

Travel enthusiasts must also abide by all the protocols laid out by the health ministry.

Tourism and mountaineering are among the main sources of revenue for the Nepal government.

Last year, Nepal issued a record 381 permits for Mount Everest costing USD 11,000 each.

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