Yes, Nepal welcomed tourists back into the country in mid 2021. Nepal relies heavily on tourism and the people have struggled to survive since the start of the pandemic. Australia’s closed borders meant we were unable to travel there but Americans, Europeans, Indians and many Asian and Middle Easterners have enjoyed trekking over the past year on the quieter trails. It is with relief to the people of Nepal that Australia has now opened its borders for international travel.
Similar to Australia, Nepal is currently facing a surge of Omicron cases, the majority of new cases are the Omicron variant. Nepal has also issued a vaccine mandate which has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of people who have been administered the vaccine. Unvaccinated tourists and locals are unable to eat in restaurants, stay in hotels, board domestic flights or visit religious and public sites unless proof of vaccine status is shown. There’s also a requirement that masks be worn in public spaces. Based on information from our family and team in Nepal, the situation is similar to what we are experiencing here in Australia.
This is something our team have discussed at length, when you trek with Take on Nepal our priority is always your health and well being. The symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to high altitude sickness, these symptoms include: fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing and headaches. We have made a decision to make it compulsory that you carry at least 3 Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) with you on the trek, the tests are now becoming readily available in pharmacies across Australia. Our team will also be carrying RAT’s and testing if they show any Covid-19 related symptoms.
When you join one of our treks in Nepal it is compulsory that you have travel insurance, in the event of you becoming unwell with Covid-19 on your trek you will be airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Kathmandu. The hospitals are set up for tourists and provide excellent care and support. Once discharged from hospital you will be required to quarantine for 5 days or until you test negative for Covid-19. If this unfortunate situation occurs you will be supported by our staff members in Kathmandu, they will check in on you and provide you with any assistance required. Our team are professional, experienced and caring, you will never feel overwhelmed or unsupported.
If you are vaccinated and willing to adhere to the mandates issued by the Nepali government then there is no reason to feel you are contributing to the problem. The people of Nepal are desperately awaiting the arrival of Australian tourists, throughout the pandemic the Nepali government has not provided a safety net for the people, many people working within the tourism industry have taken out bank loans to survive and are now anxiously waiting for their return to work. We feel strongly that by returning to Nepal you will be helping the people find their feet again after an incredibly difficult couple of years.
The most important thing you can do is to ensure your vaccination status is up to date. At all times carry hand sanitiser with you and use it all the time. Try to social distance when possible and if you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms you will need to be willing to test yourself.
Your temperature will be tested at the airport upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will also be asked to show a negative Covid-19 test result which you will need to obtain prior to your departure for Kathmandu.
As much as is possible on a trek, our team will be vigilant about hygiene standards, they will carry sanitiser and will encourage you to maintain a high level of hygiene. Our professional team will keep a close watch on your health throughout the trek. Our team will visit the kitchens of the trekking lodges we use to ensure that they are hygienic and are following guidelines. Our team of guides and porters will all be fully vaccinated and will be vigilant about testing themselves for Covid-19 if experiencing symptoms.
© Take on Nepal 2023