Submission of 14-day travel record mandatory for expedition permit

Kathmandu, March 10

The Department of Tourism (DoT) has made it mandatory for trekking agencies to submit 14- day travel record of climbers to receive expedition permit.

The department has taken the decision based on the regulation of the World Health Organisation to mitigate the increasing threat of coronavirus, informed Mira Acharya, director of DoT’s mountaineering division.

“As the virus has an estimated incubation period of 14 days, we are seeking the travel record of two weeks of all climbers wishing to scale the peaks here,” she said.

With the start of the spring season, interested climbers have started submitting applications for expeditions. As 110 countries have reported confirmed cases of coronavirus till date, the department has imposed this rule to prevent the disease from spreading in the country, she added.

Along with the health report of the climbers, the trekking agencies will also be held accountable for the climbers’ eligibility for the expedition, she said.

Likewise, the expedition team will also have to submit a list of all gears and goods that they are taking along for the expedition.

The agency should also submit the insurance documents of the expedition team while seeking the expedition permit.

Meanwhile, the climbers have to fill online briefing form before applying for an expedition permit and they have to fill a debriefing form via online process within 15 days after completion of expedition to receive the expedition certificate. And while providing the debriefing form, the agency has to submit the expedition itinerary from day one to the completion of expedition.

The department has also made it mandatory for the expedition team to inform DoT if they are planning to carry out any other activity during the expedition.

Earlier, the department had been criticised for allowing an expedition team from Kuwait to unfurl a flag weighing 150 kg from the summit of Mt Ama Dablam.

Stating that the department was unaware of the expedition team’s plans, DoT had said back then that there was no rule in place to regulate such activities.

According to DoT, a total of five climbers from two teams have received expedition permits for spring season till date. Three climbers have received permits for Mt Ama Dablam while the other two have received permits for Mt Chukyima Go.