Nepal has relaxed visitor quarantine rules to attract more climbers to Mount Everest after the pandemic wiped out last season and devastated the tourism industry, officials said Friday.
Visitors must be tested on arrival and remain in quarantine until the results return negative, based on the policy published Thursday night.
“We expect mountaineers and trekkers who have postponed expeditions and trips due to strict rules to come to Nepal after this decision,” Mira Acharya, director of the country’s tourism department, told AFP. ..
Previously, visitors had to stay in quarantine for seven days. They still have to present evidence of vaccination or negative PCR results before arriving in the country.
The decision “opens the door to the revival of tourism,” said Dunbar Parajuri, chairman of the Nepal Expeditionary Operators Association. “This sends a positive message. Last minute bookings are unlikely, but it will be useful in the long run,” he said.
Nepal has issued 45 permits to various Himalayas so far, and it is estimated that there are about 300 foreign climbers in Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
Everest’s Tibetan side continues to be closed to foreigners this year, and there is a possibility that more climbers will be on the Nepalese side. The organizers of the expedition are preparing in Kathmandu and some climbers have already trekked to their camp.
The pandemic forced Nepal to close its border just before the start of last year’s busiest mountaineering season. This was a devastating blow to thousands of people in Nepal, from guides to hotel owners. They rely on the mountaineering industry for their livelihoods.
Prior to the pandemic, Nepal had a hard time dealing with the large number of people summiting Everest. And sometimes it had fatal consequences.
In the spring climbing season of heavy traffic in 2019, a record 885 climbed to the summit, of which 644 climbed from the south and 241 from the north of Tibet. The season ended with 11 deaths in the mountains and at least four accused of being overcrowded.
Nepal relaxes quarantine rules prior to Everest season
Source link Nepal relaxes quarantine rules prior to Everest season