Protocols for tours and adventure activities for travelers post COVID-19

Damodar Dhakal
Bengal Tiger in Nepal @ Mission Nepal Holidays

The constant onslaught of positive tests and reported deaths due to Covid-19 has brought the normal life to a standstill. The novel corona virus (COVID-19) has created widespread concerns all around the world and in Nepal as well. Especially tourism sector in Nepal is worst hit and is under the firm grip of widespread recession. Due to the outbreak of this virus it is pretty ominous that people working in this sector will lose employment.

However, opening up the sector is going to be more difficult than shutting it down. For this to happen, it will require a balanced measured approach. While tourism has been heavily impacted by the pandemic the delay in re-opening creates further challenges for the sector. Invariably moving too quickly has its own set of risks. Untimely decisions can further dampen government and consumer confidence in getting the sector up and running for the longer term.

Despite all odds life is slowly getting back to normal but with a changed perspective. The travelers will now have to take extra precautions with regards to health and safety. If they seek to travel amidst the current pandemic they will have to undergo various safety norms and regulations. to ensure they are safe to travel. Likewise, it goes the same for the place, people are traveling too.

Amidst Covid scare recent developments indicate that people have molded their lives in and around the set protocols. In this regard the Nepal Tourism Board has introduced new operational guidelines for the tourism sector. In these guidelines, they have introduced protocols for different sectors related to Hospitality and tourism businesses.

This informative content highlights the protocols for tours and adventure activities. These directives and protocols are for the operation of tours and adventure activities. It is compiled keeping in mind the safety of teams, travelers, and community.

Protocols for Travelers Post Covid-19

Travelers should carry their masks with them to use while traveling.

Travelers should instantly inform the guide/team leader of any symptoms of any kind of illness or health issues.

It is mandatory for the travelers to have travel medical insurance. This medical insurance should include helicopter evacuation for immediate evacuation in the case of a medical emergency  

Travelers need to comply with safety protocol in case of suspected case of virus transmission or illness. Be it within the group or the area.

Travelers shall be requested to carry their sanitizer with them in their packs at all times. 

Protocols for touring activities

While on tour the travelers need to maintain social distancing with by passers and local communities too.

The travelers on tour will be taken to the certified restaurants that are clean and serve hygienic food 

The tour leader should make sure that group abides by all the virus protocols of hygiene and physical distancing.

The Tour leader should not only be well trained in medical first aid but should have a medical kit handy with him as well. 

The tour leader should trained regularly on the emergency Protocol and contact the office if need be.

Protocols for Adventure Activities, Trekking, Hiking, and Mountaineering

All Trekkers and Mountaineers traveling with the company or Free Independent travelers should trek with approved office guides. This ensures a security guarantee.

There should not be any changes to the approved trekking and mountaineering trekking itinerary.

The group size should be around 2-15 individuals at a given point of time in particular.

The Team Leader must provide the health status report of the individuals in all the health check posts. 

Besides that the adventure activities involves close contact from person to person safety protocols have to be prioritized.

Adventure activities like rafting will allow only 50% occupancy of the rafts while maintaining a physical distance. 

The Directives issued by the Health and Population Ministry, High Level COVID-19 committee and NTB HHS Protocols to be strictly followed during activities.

NOTE: Due to the contact intensive nature of Aqua and Aerial (rafting, kayak, canyoning, bungee jumping, paragliding and others) activities. It is recommended that these activities are offered only to:

  1. Same group
  2. People who are travelling together
  3. Families

As per the new instructions the teams working in the conduction of tours and adventure activities should go through a training that includes:

Prevention of Infection, Breaking the Chain and Hygiene Protocols

Physical Distancing Protocols

Emergency Protocols

Dynamic Problem Solving

Updated First Aid training

An up to date training record should be kept by all members of the team as proof of the training.

The activity leader should also be trained in passing on the salient points of the training to other members of the team during the course of the operation.

All activity leaders have to maintain a Daily Leader Log according in a pre-established format to record itinerary and points of contact to facilitate contact tracing should the need arise. This could include daily temperature checks and self-administered symptom form by the clients.

Daily briefings should include hygiene, physical distancing, and emergency protocols. Daily communication when possible with the office to report and get updates on the overall situation, so the itinerary can be followed and adapted according to the situation.

First Aid Kits with every Leader containing extra masks, disposable gloves soap, and/or sanitizers. Leaders should be mindful of communities where the tours and adventure activities are happening and minimize the chances of contamination.

Activity leaders should work alongside other leaders in a destination to ensure minimal risk of contamination, and maintain a high level of hygiene.

We believe that these adventure activities, and tour protocols guidelines compiled by Mission Nepal Holidays is informative and effective. This will not only help boost your travel confidence but assure you of safe travel.

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