We had our first Musa Masala group Zoom call last week, and it was so wonderful for everyone to get together, even if just through the screens. We were all supposed to be in Nepal at the hospital on October 4th for the opening of the Wongchhu Sherpa Memorial Hospital, then our Climbing Competition in Kathmandu followed by the first Musa trek in the Mardi Himal. But a few things have changed (COVID-19), so we took time to talk about the current situation in Nepal. We will share part of that with you here and in the next few weeks share our conversations on the opening of a road to Lukla, wow! And we will fill you in on the situation with the Wongchhu Sherpa Memorial Hospital.
Lakpa Sherpa, the Director of the Wongchhu Sherpa Memorial Hospital Project and the Himalayan Yokpu Foundation, as well as managing director of Wongchhu Peak Promotion, filled us in on the current situation in Nepal, the guidelines and the changes that are coming.
The basic rules, as Lakpa said, depending on the situation with new cases, include:
- Opening October 17 for international flights with the following,
- A Negative PCR test for COVID 19, taken within 72 hours of departure.
- Passing the Health screening at the airport.
- A minimum 7-day quarantine after entering the country at a hotel, with proof of the reservation and on the fifth day an additional PCR test that must be negative.
- At least $5000 in insurance documentation related to COVID events.
There are more guidelines we published below, check out this complete list. Be aware that this can be updated and changed at any time.
At the present time, no US citizens are allowed to enter Nepal for tourism.
Here are the complete guidelines from The Treeking Agencies Association of Nepal:
Here is a list of resources below you can check if you want to make some travel plans:
U.S. Embassy in Nepal: COVID-19 Information
Nepal Travel Guidelines: Latest COVID-19 Restrictions For Those Planning to go Mountaineering There
Nepal govt issues protocol for mountaineering and trekking activities
If you are already in Nepal, contact Wongchhu Peak Promotion. The areas outside of the cities are open for climbing and trekking, you will need to follow the guidelines. So now is a great time to beat the crowds while the routes are open almost exclusively for citizens of Nepal!
As the situation changes we will keep you up to date. All of us at Musa Masala in Nepal and the US, and of course Ireland, (Hannah), are excited to get back to the mountains safely and wisely. Until then follow the science, wear a mask and take care of each other.