COVID 19: Mount Everest closed for spring climbling expeditions

COVID 19: Mount Everest closed for spring climbling expeditions

Agency News

Kathmandu, Mar 13: Nepal Government has cancelled all spring mountaineering expeditions, including Everest ascents.

According to ta government official, all spring expeditions, including Everest, have been cancelled, as reported by the Katmandu post. It has also decided to temporarily stop issuing on-arrival tourist visas to all countries. 'The visa suspension, which excludes diplomatic and official visas, will come into effect on March 14 and last until April 30,' the official said. The decision comes a day after the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic and urged countries to take precautionary measures.

A high-level coordination committee led by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwar Pokhrel took the decision to this effect on Thursday. The meeting also decided to restrict traveller movement to and from India via land routes and adhere to strict quarantine measures at the border. 'In case of emergency, any foreigners wishing to come to Nepal will need to submit a medical certificate declaring that they are free of the coronavirus while applying at Nepal’s consulate in their respective countries,' the official further said. 'The government has also decided not to issue visas for tourists entering Nepal via land routes.' Mountaineers generally apply for Everest permits from the end of March. The spring season begins in early April as hordes of climbers start trekking for the Everest region. From hotels to restaurants, guides to potters, and airlines to helicopters, all eagerly await the spring climbing season as it generates much-needed income and jobs for the mountainous region. (UNI)