Nepal: Still hotel quarantine for all foreign tourists

Arrival at Kathmandu Airport

If there is one thing the Nepalese government knows how to do, it is the backward roll.  Apparently, the quarantine regulations for incoming tourists will not be relaxed for the time being. After a cabinet meeting last week, officials of the Ministry of Tourism had told press representatives in Kathmandu that guests from abroad who had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus would no longer have to undergo a mandatory one-week quarantine in a hotel in Kathmandu. A negative Covid-19 test, which is not older than 72 hours, would be sufficient to be able to move freely in Nepal immediately.

Ministry: Quarantine not lifted

Trekking in the Khumbu

However, this supposed decision of the cabinet did not appear then in the official announcement of the government. Lukas Furtenbach – head of the Austrian expedition operator Furtenbach Adventures, who is organizing an expedition to Mount Everest this spring – informed me that he had sent a staff member to the ministry. There he received the information: The quarantine has not been lifted.

This means that mountaineers and trekking tourists entering Nepal – whether vaccinated or not – must for the time being continue to undergo a one-week hotel quarantine and be tested again on the fifth day. Only if this test is also negative, they are allowed to continue to travel into the mountains. But possibly, at some point, the next roll backwards of the government is in the offing. What a mess!

Update 25 March: Again a half roll backwards. Tourists who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and can show a negative test (not older than 72 hours) should be tested again directly after arrival in Kathmandu. If this test is also negative, these tourists can end their hotel quarantine.