With a handful of cases as of now & recovery rate being 70% Nepal can be considered as a stable country. At this point, there are a total of 18483 confirmed cases & out of those 13053 have already recovered.
Having said that, Nepal has yet to scale up its testing capabilities for Covid-19. While all other countries are combating an outbreak of the virus & to flatten the curve of the infection’s exponential growth. According to the analysts, Nepal has yet to reach an exponential growth rate. But the only way to deal with this epidemic is by adapting to it.
Nepal implemented a full nationwide lockdown in an attempt to steam the spread of COVID-19. Somehow the lockout has succeeded & the national lockout is now open. However, the government of Nepal issued strict guidelines for people & the tourism industries. Due to the Pandemic, Nepal faced a lot in terms of economy & supplies. On the contrary, now people are consciously taking care of hygiene, more and more.
people are mindful of health care and mental wellbeing. This is an immense improvement.
International/domestic flights to resume starting August 17 (2020)
As per Kathmandu post “The government on Monday announced the resumption of international and domestic flights beginning August 17. The flights have remained suspended for over four months now in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The government has decided to allow both international and domestic scheduled flights from August 17, since there has been a decrease in new COVID-19 Cases in the country. All flights will run by following special guidelines on health and safety.
How Travel is made safer at its best in Nepal after August 2020
Here’s a detailed draft from Nepal Tourism Board on health and hygiene protocols
The guideline has mentioned that the management team of the hotels and restaurants must draft an action plan tailored to the situation and implement it in accordance with the recommendations of local and national public health authorities with an aim to prevent COVID-19 cases. It has also asked the management to effectively manage cases and mitigate impact among clients and staff, including cleaning and disinfecting rooms occupied by sick persons, if any.
Likewise, all the hotels and restaurants have to arrange temperature screening of guests using thermal scanners and/or infrared thermometers. If possible, the hotels must install an automated sanitisation tunnel or disinfection spray prior to checking at the gate. Likewise, front desk staff must use face masks, gloves, protective apron (disposable) and full-length long-sleeved gown and also maintain social distancing measures. Hotels have also been urged to promote cleaning of hands and respiratory hygiene in every single corner of the hotel premises.
The guideline has also mentioned that tables at restaurants must be arranged in such a manner that the distance from the back of one chair to the back of another chair must be more than one meter and guests must be facing each other from a distance of at least one meter. Meanwhile, tables for only four people should be set up in one sitting area.
The guideline has also asked businesses to reduce contact/touchpoints as much as possible, arrange virtual check-ins and check-outs as well as halt room service facilities, gym/health club facilities for a temporary period. Moreover, hotel rooms must be vacant for 48 hours after the last guest checks out.
Meanwhile, for trekking, mountaineering, tour, and rafting sectors the guideline has made it a must to disinfect the workplace and use protective equipment. It has also sought mandatory health declaration form, maintaining hygiene and social distancing during the tour or trek, and to follow safety measures of the Ministry of Health and Population and the World Health Organisation.
Likewise, for tourist vehicles, the guideline has stated that the seat next to the driver must be vacant and a two-meter distance must be maintained between passengers. In the case of bigger vehicles like buses, seats that can be taken must be clearly marked, and personalized pick up and drop service to the extent possible must be provided. If the point of departure happens to be a bus stop or a dedicated point, the operator must apply clear ground distancing marks.
It has also recommended avoiding socializing, story-telling, dancing, or forming crowds or campfires or showing any tendency that is likely to breach social distancing norms during treks. Chances of infection will still be very high once the lockdown is over so it would be better to use precaution, states the guideline. The guideline further mentions that trekking equipment must be sanitized and each trekker must maintain a minimum distance of one meter while camping or in the accommodation area.
Likewise, the beds for each trekker must be set up at a distance of two meters from each other and one camp must be set up at a distance of 30 meters from another camp. Trekking guides must report at the local government every day during a trek. In the Annapurna area, officials from the Annapurna Conservation Area Project must maintain a logbook. Emergency help desks must be set up on trekking trails that must operate round-the-clock.
Tourism stakeholders also stressed on moving towards sustainable and quality tourism with a benchmark for hygiene and sanitation in the post-crisis period to gain back consumer confidence.