Nepal has opened for tourists in December 2020

Nepal has opened for tourists in December 2020

Now that mount Everest has a new official height, would you like to spend Christmas or New Year’s Eve in Kathmandu? Hard to believe but it is now possible as Nepal has opened for tourists again in December of the infamous year 2020. Actually, Nepal is the first Asian country that opens for real, after (or during?) the so-called Covid-10 pandemic. That is if we don’t consider the curious case of Cambodia which requires travelers to make a deposit of $2000.00 USD  (previously $3000.00) towards a potential Covid-19 treatment in a local hospital.

This is a step forward from the previous opening in October 2020

Previously, Nepal was “kind of open” for tourism starting October 17, 2020. Though the October opening phase was meant to allow exclusively trekkers. The rules and conditions were confusing enough to make navigation hardly possible.

Luckily there is good news coming out of Nepal. Tourists may again travel to this beautiful country and the Himalaya mountains. Read on to find out what is needed in order to be able to enter the country. As there are a few hoops still such as quarantine, even though the quarantine time has been reduced to 7 days.

New rules of the December opening phase

Yes, this time is official and comes at a time when the locals need it most. However, this could have been done earlier. The best time for trekking in Nepal is in October and November. While December the sky is clear and the views are amazing, the temperature plummets while hiking up the mountain.

The Nepal Department of Immigration released a statement with some of the most important rules for tourists wanting to visit.

  1. Tourists arriving in Nepal must apply and get a visa from Nepal Embassies or consulates abroad. We think that it could be any diplomatic mission and not only in the countries of residence. As there are no Nepal consulates in all the countries of the world. That is not something confirmed at this point.
  2. Tourists must arrive by air. That is not to say that Indian tourists are not allowed to cross the land border. It probably means that tourists must fly into Kathmandu. The land borders are still shut.
  3. A Covid-19 PCR test with a negative result must be presented. This test must be taken within 72 hours of arrival at Kathmandu airport.
  4. All travelers to Nepal must undergo a 7 days quarantine in a hotel in Kathmandu. There are no details if only certain hotels are approved to host tourists. Most likely there are no such designated hotels and every traveler should make their own arrangements.
  5. Travelers will be tested on the 5th day of the quarantine and they will be released on the 7th day. We still don’t know what will happen if this test on day 5 will return positive results.
  6. Apparently, travel insurance (health insurance?) that covers COVID-19 is required. This insurance must cover at least $5000.00 USD.

Other things to note about the current situation in Nepal

  1. There are no restrictions as to which nationalities are allowed to apply for a Nepal tourist visa.
  2. Tourists may be asked to wear face masks while in Nepal. There was even talk of face shields required for passengers on long journeys.
  3. Nepal’s government had stopped international flights on March 20, 2020, and placed the whole country in a lockdown from March 24 to July 21. Certain restrictions are being enforced.
  4. Flights between Nepal and India to start as an “air bubble” project on December 17, 2020.
  5. Nepalese travelers to India must present a PCR test and will be required to spend 2 weeks in quarantine.

Types of activities open in Nepal

  • Trekking and climbing activities are open. They do require a permit though.
  • Hotels and lodgings are open.
  • Restaurants and supermarkets are open.
  • Tourism attractions and activities are open.

Flight Prices to Kathmandu in December 2020 and January 2021

As many airlines have canceled some of their flights to India and Nepal it is becoming ever more expensive to travel to this part of the world. Here are some of the flight fares we have found available for booking online. Keep in mind that these flights may be canceled and prices do fluctuate often.

The following are ONE-WAY flights.

Delhi to Kathmandu Flights

December 2020

From $60.00 to $120.00 direct flights
From $230.00 to $250.00 (indirect flights via Dubai or Saudi Arabia)

January 2021

From $60.00 to $120.00 direct flights

London to Kathmandu Flights

December 2020 Flights

$400.00 with 2 stops via Istanbul and Dubai
$450.00 with 1 stop via Delhi
$600.00 with 1 stop via Doha

January 2021 Flights

$400.00 with 1 stops via Istanbul
$460.00 with 1 stop via Delhi
$475.00 with 1 stop via Abu Dhabi

Singapore to Kathmandu Flights

December 2020

$420.00 with 1 stops via Dubai
$660.00 direct with Singapore’s Silk Air (only a few dates available)

January 2021 Flights

$320.00 with 1 stops via Delhi
$410.00 with 1 stop via Kuala Lumpur
$510.00 with 1 stop via Abu Dhabi
$650.00 direct with Singapore’s Silk Air (only a few dates available)

December 16, 2020 / by / in

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