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    Everest Base Camp Trek during COVID

    Balaram Thapa
    Balaram ThapaUpdated: Jun 12th 2023  |  News

    People across the world are looking forward to going back to normalcy. After spending 2020 blissfully with family and on their own, exploration is on everybody's to-do list. It is understandable if people want to travel beyond their relative's home or nearest restaurants and cafés. It is about time also. We get somewhere that is far and full of exciting experiences. Moreover, with the development of vaccination, traveling has become possible. But some places are still skeptical about allowing tourists.

    Among many countries allowing visitors, Nepal is one of the countries welcoming visitors globally. Traveling amidst the pandemic has some perks, but there are no challenging restrictions to follow to visit Nepal. Henceforth, tourists looking to visit Nepal have options of choosing from activities like trekking, adventure sports, mountaineering, peak climbing, cultural tours, and many more.

    Above all, in this blog, we bring all the information to know about Everest Base Camp trekking during COVID. This article is the Everest Base Camp Trek guide after lockdown that everybody must read before planning their journey.

    What is the current situation of Nepal?

    Nepal's reality is that it is open to tourists, which means traveling to Nepal is resumed. If travelers want to travel, they can without worrying about travel restrictions. Moreover, if we have to address Nepal's current COVID situation, it is becoming stable day by day. The cases of infected patients, as well as death rates, have decreased. And people are returning to the routine they used to have. Therefore, many businesses have bounced back following all the health protocols government has advised. Not only companies but schools and institutions are back in operation as well. Thus, it is safe to say, Nepal's current situation has become almost normal like before.

    Is tourist allowed to visit Nepal for trekking? And what are the travel restrictions?

    Yes, tourists can visit Nepal for any recreational activity, including the Everest Base Camp trek. Also, recently, Nepal Government held a cabinet meeting with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation officials to revise the current entry protocols for tourists. The meeting was held on 18 March 2021, and the meeting ended with removing the current mandatory seven-day quarantine rule for upcoming travelers.

    Following the cabinet decisions, people with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines can enter Nepal without a negative PCR test report. Similarly, they do not have to stay in quarantine as well, as they can continue their respective journey. Likewise, they also do not have to take another PCR test. With a vaccination certificate and a visa approval letter, they can get an upon arrival visa at the airport.

    Furthermore, in terms of non-vaccinated travelers, they will have to bring a negative PCR test report. The report should not be older than 72 hours from when they first leave their country for Nepal. Alongside a negative PCR test report, they also have to bring a visa approval letter to get an On Arrival Visa at the airport. They will have to take another PCR test report upon arriving in Nepal. And after getting a negative report, travelers can resume their journey.

    Moreover, travelers can also apply for a travel visa from the Nepal embassy or consulate offices based in their hometowns. If these offices are not reachable, they can ask for a visa approval letter from their travel manager. The travel manager in Nepal will provide travelers with a Visa Approval Letter.

    For Visa Approval Letter, travelers will have to provide the following documents:

    • Passport scan copy
    • Flight details
    • Travel Insurance

    Additionally, Indian travelers can travel to Nepal without a tourist Visa. Therefore, any Indian trekkers interested in Everest Base Camp trekking can travel to Nepal with a negative PCR test report. Due to India and Nepal's travel Agreement bubble, Indian tourists can visit Nepal without a travel visa.

    And lastly, Nepal's trekking routes, such as Annapurna, Langtang, Manaslu, and Mustang, are all open for trekking. Few off the beaten path are only not resumed for trekking activities. Therefore, people looking to explore the Himalayan beauty after COVID can travel to Nepal with no worry.

    What document should we have to bring for traveling to Nepal for trekking after the lockdown?

    There is no requirement to bring specific travel documents for travelers looking to do trekking after the lockdown. The documents travelers get to enter Nepal are enough to navigate Everest and other trekking routes in Nepal. There is no other specific traveling document required to show on the trek route.

    How is the trek route to Everest Base Camp?

    The trek route is comparatively less busy than the other times. Even after the resumption of tourism, the Everest region had no tourists to visit for months. Most teahouses remain out of business due to the low number of travelers. But steadily, with the situation improving and tourism steadily thriving, tourism is coming back to life in the Everest region. Unlike the initial months after the resumption of tourism, most teahouses are now open for trekkers. Therefore, trekkers won't have to worry about accommodation and food. Most of all, trekkers who prefer to travel in solitude will have a lovely time exploring the Everest Base Camp trek route.

    Is there any health issue to know about for the Everest Base Camp trek during COVID?

    Trekkers do not have to worry about health issues on the Everest Base Camp trek route besides altitude sickness.

    Even in terms of COVID, Nepal's Himalayan region, which includes the Everest region, is the least affected places than the other two regions- hilly and Terai.

    And as per health issues, everybody is familiar that altitude sickness is a possible health issue they should be aware of. Thus, trekkers should stay hydrated and not rush the trek. Approach the trek carefully, drink plenty of water, and avoid eating heavy foods on the trek.

    Understand the basics of altitude sickness.

    When you move to a higher elevation, it is customary to detect some changes and experience mild headaches. Therefore, it is better if travelers are aware of such conditions before starting a journey.

    Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS):

    AMS is a condition trekkers experience when there is low oxygen in the body. Trekkers mostly experience such illness when they are heading above 2500 meters. Symptom trekkers experience are headache, insomnia, shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue. The best diagnosis for AMS is acclimatization.

    High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE): 

    During HAPE, fluids build up in the lungs, which causes difficulty in breathing. It occurs in the elevation around 2500m. HAPE symptoms are extreme fatigue, dry cough, shortness of breath, wet cough with frothy sputum, and fever. These symptoms are risky, and ignoring these symptoms is not wise. Upon experiencing such conditions, seek medical attention. And another best option would be to descend to the lower elevation.

    High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE): 

    During HACE, fluids get collected in the brain. When people get HACE, they start hallucinating, unconscious, difficulty coordinating, confusion, change in mental state, and lethargy. If trekkers start showing such symptoms, they should immediately be evacuated for strict medical attention.

    Can we start planning for the Everest Base Camp Trek?

    Yes, travelers can start planning for the Everest Base Camp trek without worrying about travel restrictions. Also, all the treks in Nepal are running smoothly. Thus, if you prefer to trek somewhere else than Everest Base Camp, travelers can start planning for the trek. There are other treks available for the adventure.

    Lastly, if trekking is the first thing on your to-do list post-COVID, think about trekking in Nepal. From Everest Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp trek, every trekking region is now welcoming visitors. All the activities are running efficiently in Nepal, so don't halt yourself and start planning for the lifetime experience.

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