Skip to main content
17 Mar 2020 | 01:13 PM UTC

Nepal: Government suspends issuance of tourist visas on arrival March 14 /update 2

Nepal suspends issuance of tourist visas on arrival due to COVID-19 March 14; all spring climbing expeditions canceled

entry/exit
health
transportation
NPL

Event

On Thursday, March 12, Nepal's government announced that it will stop issuing tourist visas on arrival to all foreigner nationals from Saturday, March 14, through Thursday, April 30, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The issuance of official and diplomatic visas will not be affected. Foreigners who wish to travel to Nepal must apply for a visa at the Nepali mission or consulate in their country, and include a medical certificate declaring they are free of COVID-19.

The government also announced that all spring mountain climbing expeditions, including those to Mount Everest, will be canceled.

To date, there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nepal. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.