Nepal gives official green light for mountaineering season in fall

Nepalese south side of Everest
Nepalese south side of Mount Everest

“(The) Mountains are open for this year’s autumn season,” said Mira Acharya, director of the Tourism Department in the Nepalese government. From this Thursday, permits will again be issued for 414 mountains in Nepal, including Mount Everest, with 75 mountains remaining closed, she said.

On 13 March, the government had announced that it would no longer issue permits for the time being because of the corona pandemic. The spring season in Nepal had been completely canceled, also on the south side of Everest. On the north side of the mountain, the Sino-Tibetan authorities had only issued permits for a single Chinese expedition that reached the world’s highest peak in late May.

Restaurants and hotels open again

After more than four months of lockdown due to the corona pandemic, hotels and restaurants in Nepal are now allowed to open again – under safety precautions. “We have decided to fire up our pizza ovens,” announces the “Rum Doodle“, a bar in Kathmandu that has been popular with mountaineers for decades. “Yes! It is good to be back.”

No decision yet on quarantine

Arrival at Kathmandu Airport

However, it will probably be a long time before life in Nepal  is back to normal. From 17 August, planes are expected to land in Nepal again. But it is not to be assumed that numerous tourists will immediately stream into the Himalayan state. In many countries (including Germany) Nepal is still on the government’s list of states that should be avoided due to the corona pandemic.

In addition, there are – as reported – still many unanswered issues – among others the question which quarantine regulations will apply to travelers from other countries. “The quarantine modality is still under discussion because of which we are unable to project the flow of climbers into the country”, Mira Acharja told the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

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