Nepal Resumes Mountaineering

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KATHMANDU: The Nepal government on Thursday resumed the mountaineering activities five months after they were halted due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a senior official has said.

The government has opened mountain peaks for climbers and has started issuing climbing permissions.

“The cabinet meeting ten days ago decided to resume the mountaineering activities and the decision is being implemented from Thursday,” Meera Acharya, director at Department of Tourism, told PTI.

She said now mountains are open for this year’s autumn season and the permissions will be issued to the interested climbers.

However, the government is still discussing the modality of quarantine for international visitors, coming for mountaineering activities, she informed.

“We have not yet received specific instructions from the ministry regarding the matter.”

Mountaineering activities could not take place in the spring season as climbing permission was put into halt after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Nepal has so far reported 19,547 cases of coronavirus with 52 deaths, according to local media.

Nepal has also lifted a three-month-long lockdown, allowing most of the services to resume operation, though the Health Ministry has asked people to maintain social distancing and hand hygiene in public places as precautionary measures.

Hotels, trekking and mountaineering services have also come into operation, though the regular international air services will remain closed till August 16.

Tourism and mountaineering are among the main sources of revenue for the Nepal government.

Last year, Nepal issued a record 381 permits for Mount Everest costing USD 11,000 each.

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