Nepal Resumes Visa on Arrival for Foreign Tourists

Image by milan kumar Rai from Pixabay

Foreign visitors to Nepal can get visas on arrival if they have gotten two doses of the Covid-19 vaccination at least 14 days in advance, according to a notice issued by Nepal’s Immigration Department on Thursday.

In an effort to boost the country’s ailing tourism industry, the Nepalese government has scrapped the seven-day mandatory Covid-19 quarantine for international visitors and began giving visas on arrival to those who have been vaccinated.

Major airlines have confirmed the return of in-demand mountain flights, which attract thousands of tourists each year.

Foreign visitors to Nepal can obtain visas on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, and other entry points, including buses from neighboring India, if they have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days in advance.

The travelers must also provide paperwork proving that they tested negative for Coronavirus in a test (any of the RT-PCR/Gene Expert/True NAAT tests) conducted at least 72 hours before arrival and that they have made hotel reservations.

If visitors wish to obtain visas from Nepali embassies overseas, they must first finish the immunization process. According to the notice, unvaccinated travelers will be quarantined for 10 days.

The statement comes as Nepal’s Covid-19 outbreak has slowed significantly in recent months, with daily viral cases dropping to the 100s in September from highs of 8,000 in late April and May.

Meanwhile, the two biggest airlines that fly to the mountains have stated that they intend to expand the frequency of their flights, reports Hindustan Times.

One of the most popular attractions in the Himalayan nation is a one-hour mountain flight that takes guests to a height of roughly 25,000 feet on either side of Mt Everest. Yeti Airlines, which had suspended mountain flights, has announced that service will resume on Sunday.

Mountain flights are now only available on Saturdays, but according to Buddha Air’s marketing manager Rupesh Joshi, more flights will be available starting next week.

Nepal, which has eight of the world’s fourteen highest peaks, is heavily reliant on tourism. In 2020, the Himalayan nation received only 230,085 foreign visitors, a drop of more than 80% from the previous year.

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