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March 20, 2020

All trekking agencies locked down

Kathmandu: All trekking agencies across the country have been locked down as a precautionary measure against the rapid spread of Coronavirus.

The trekking agencies halted their trekking activities after the government’s department of tourism Friday circulated government directives that all trekking agencies should stop their operation of tours and travel activities with effective from Friday.

The Department has also directed all concerned trekking agencies to arrange for the departure of tourists to their respective destinations safely.

The department also asked all trekking agencies to keep the recently arrived tourists in self-quarantine.

Foreigners have to wait for further notice to trek in Nepal

Trekking permit for foreign national(s) has been temporarily halted in a bid to prevent a possible spread of the COVID-19 in the country.

The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has informed about the closure of distribution of trekking information management system (TIMS) cards until further notice through a press statement issued Friday and with this, no foreign nationals will be eligible for trekking here.

The decision comes into effect from Friday itself. TIMS card is mandatory for any foreigner to going for in Nepal-based routes. TIMS is taken as one of the important sources of income in Nepal’s tourism.

A foreign tourist is charged Rs 2000 to go for a trek on an individual basis while  Rs 1,000 is charged individually if it is processed through the organization. With the deadly COVID- 19 spreadings globally, there is a significant cut in international flights and the movement of international tourists has slowed down in the country.

NTB and the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) are authorized bodies to distribute TIMS. TAAN chair Khum Bahadur Subedi confirmed that stakeholders concerned have agreed to suspend the distribution until the infection risk slows down.

In this season, TAAN has distributed over 250 TIMS including over 50 from its Pokhara Office and the NTB has been distributing 200 TIMS each day (RSS).

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