As new variants seem to be surfacing on a daily basis, many people are concerned about traveling. Health concerns, in addition to the ever-changing restrictions in every country, have made it difficult to plan. However, as people around the world get vaccinated, there is hope that everyone will be able to travel freely once again. Nepal’s borders remain open for tourists, and there are still many adventures waiting for you throughout the country!
If you have questions about what Nepal is doing to curb the spread of COVID-19, you have come to the right place.
Before You Leave Home
Protocols for those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated are very different, so it is important to ensure you have documentation of your vaccination status before you travel and book hotels as required. However, there are some things that are the same regardless of your vaccination status.
Firstly, Nepal requires all travelers to present a negative PCR report when they arrive in Nepal. Your airline will also require this test, taken within 72 hours of your departure from your home. Children under the age of 5 do not need to have a negative COVID-19 test to enter Nepal.
Airlines will likely check your vaccination status, negative covid test, hotel booking confirmation, and CCMC form (with barcode) before you depart. You can find the form here. You do not need a hard copy of this form; having the barcode available on your cell phone will be sufficient.
For unvaccinated travelers, they will check for your recommendation letter from your travel agency in Nepal and your quarantine plan.
Lastly, you should ensure that your insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and rescue. This is not covered in ordinary insurance plans; however, many companies are beginning to change their policies. Having insurance is always important, but especially with COVID-19, this coverage is necessary.
For more details about the documentation required to visit Nepal: https://www.nepalhikingteam.com/covid-19-protocols/
Fully Vaccinated Travelers
If you are fully vaccinated, entering and traveling within Nepal will be easy. You will be able to acquire a visa on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, as usual. You will not be required to quarantine or be tested after you arrive.
Once you arrive, your PCR report will be checked, and you will proceed to the machines where you apply for your tourist visa. Once you receive your visa, you can proceed to baggage claim and then make your way out of the airport.
Children under the age of 18 do not need to be fully vaccinated in order to obtain a visa on arrival.
Partially or Unvaccinated Travelers
If you are not fully vaccinated, traveling to Nepal is slightly more difficult. You must obtain a recommendation letter from your trekking agency and then apply for a visa from the nearest Nepali embassy. You can only travel to Nepal once you receive your visa.
When you arrive in Nepal, your PCR report will be checked, and you will need to show your quarantine plan for five days in a hotel. You then can proceed through immigration and baggage claim before moving on to your hotel to quarantine. After 5 days, you will be required to have a COVID-19 test before being able to travel throughout Nepal. If you do not get tested on the 6th day, then you will be required to quarantine for 10 days in total. The quarantine period will be at your own expense, with 3-star hotels ranging from $30 to $50 USD per night.
If You Become Ill
If you develop symptoms, make sure that you get tested, self-isolate, or go to a hospital that is treating COVID-19 patients. This is very important to stop the spread of illness within Nepal. If you are on a trek and begin to feel ill, it is important to inform your guide as soon as possible so that tests and evacuation can be arranged if necessary.
Your hotel or guide will be able to help you find testing facilities; however, you can also find a list of government-approved services for testing.
Many tourists choose to go to CIWEC Hospital in Lazimpat if they fall ill. However, other government-approved medical services can be found.
While you are in Nepal, make sure you wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands whenever possible. This will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Furthermore, please always respect local guidelines, travel responsibly, and be flexible and ready for restrictions to change as the COVID-19 situation evolves in Nepal.
As with many countries around the world, the Nepalese government is working to reduce the number of cases and keep people safe throughout the country. While you are traveling, you have an important role to play.