Nepal Drops Quarantines for Fully Vaccinated Travelers

Multiday treks, paragliding, and other outdoor activities have been green-lighted by local authorities.

Paragliders soaring over Phewa Lake outside Pokhara, Nepal. (Photo: Kaushal Subedi/Unsplash)

Adventure-seekers dreaming of a Himalayan holiday are in for some good news — Nepal has resumed issuing on-arrival visas for fully vaccinated tourists flying into Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport. Just as importantly, the Nepalese government has canned the seven-day quarantine requirement outlined in previous entry rules, while visitors no longer need to seek the tourism board’s approval for trip itineraries before obtaining a visa.

International travelers will be considered fully inoculated if they have received all necessary doses of a Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to landing in Kathmandu. At immigration, they must also present their vaccination record, a hotel booking, and a negative result from a PCR test conducted within 72 hours of arrival. Also required is a printed copy of an online travel declaration that can be filled out at ccmc.gov.np. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors will not be eligible for visas on arrival, and must apply for a special entry permit in at a Nepali embassy or consulate abroad. After touching down in Kathmandu, they’ll need to undergo a 10-day quarantine in government-designated hotels.

Nepals’s Covid-19 caseload has plummeted since infection numbers peaked in May, as vaccination rates steadily climb. According to the latest figures from Our World in Data, Nepal has fully vaccinated about 20.8 percent of its total population, while an additional two percent have only received one dose. The pace of the rollout, however, is sluggish, with Reuters estimating that it will take nearly two months based on current rates to cover another 10 percent of the population.

As Nepal has not yet negotiated any quarantine-free travel bubbles with other countries, visitors will need to budget a period of self-isolation on their way home. Singapore authorities classify Nepal as a highest-risk Category IV country, and returning citizens will have to serve a 14-day Stay Home Notice in a dedicated facility at a cost of S$2,000 per person (including meals). Similarly, Hong Kong residents arriving from Nepal must spend 21 days confined to a hotel room at their own expense. Entry requirements are less stringent in Indonesia, where mandatory hotel quarantines last eight days, but travelers must either transit in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur as there are no direct flights between Jakarta and Kathmandu.

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