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Leaving Kathmandu

2 posts
1 review
Leaving Kathmandu
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Going to be heading back to Kathmandu in the next couple days. Does anyone have any experience with the process of leaving Nepal and traveling back to the USA given current COVID-19 restrictions?

19 replies to this topic
Billings, Montana
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13 posts
1 review
1. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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I just left Kathmandu on May 6th, the last day, supposedly, of international flights out of KTM until the 14th. Domestic flights have been suspended from May 3. You need to consult the US Embassy COVID page. I see no information suggesting that flights, domestic or international, will resume on the 14th--it's possible, although unlikely, in my opinion. My guess is that until the curve of new cases is flattened, these restrictions will remain in effect. But, as usual, one doesn't know what the government will mandate from one day to the next. I didn't take any chances and cut my trip short and got out when I could.

Kathmandu is, of course, in lockdown, so only essential travel is allowed. And supposedly there is a quarantine for anyone entering the Kathmandu Valley, although I don't know how they will enforce that. So there is the issue of international flights as well as the required PCR test, available at hospitals like Star. One piece of advice, based on my own recent experience, is to leave plenty of time to get the results of the PCR test AND, if possible, time for a retake. On the last day, I received a positive test result, and, with very little time to spare, I retook the test, and this time it came out negative, leaving me just enough time to get to the airport to catch my flight. In this, I was really lucky. I hope things improve, but right now it is chaotic in Kathmandu, and, at least when I left a few days ago, it did not look like getting away would be a possibility in the near future. I hope I am wrong and that things work out for you. Again, you need to stay in contact with the US Embassy, and consult their COVID page and get on their email list for possible charter or repatriation flights, if it comes to that.

Nepal
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680 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
2. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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It's important to note, the airport is "closed" and no one should anticipate it opening after May 14. Last year we watched the two-week closure get extended for more than five months. There is no chance the airport will open for regular flights in the next 45-60 days. No chance.

For now your only options to get out will be through the US Embassy and the evacuation flights they arrange, or through charter flights arranged through Nepali travel agencies. The Embassy flights will be expensive, but reliable. The charter flights need to be booked with extreme caution. Last year thousands of travelers lost money, had as many a 8 flghts cancelled, and the government appeared to have no concerns with charter flight scams.

Once you get your flight sorted, you will need to jump through a bunch of new hoops to get out of KTM. That includes a 5-day quarantine once you arrive in KTM, which frankly, no one seems to know how that works for travelers leaving Nepal. You will obviously need a PCR test but DO NOT get that test done at a lab location. You will be standing in line with 1 out of every 2 people testing positive. You will get covid.

Most hotels can help you arrange for testing in your hotel. One more reason not to stay in a bargain price hotel.

I would be making good friends with the US Embassy. I was in this same boat last year and missed the window to leave. We ended up staying in Nepal for 9 months.

Nepal
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680 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
3. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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Oh - I would definitely not head back to KTM until you have a flight, or want to be in KTM for months. Once in, it will be hard to get out. If you're in Pokhara or some other safe place, that's probably a better place to be in a pandemic.

Oslo, Norway
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949 posts
4. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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For updates on non-commercial flights and helicopter movement, Kathmandu:

https://www.tiairport.com.np/rcc

Scroll down to bottom for latest press release.

Also, under News here: https://caanepal.gov.np

Follow embassy updates from relevant countries.

https://np.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/

https://www.welcomenepal.com/plan-your-trip/covid-19.html

8 posts
5. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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Hi Kelly,

i do not know where you are right now, but perhaps you should stay where you are. In Kathmandu everything is closed and will be for a while.

I did my PCR test on May 4th in my hotel. Some guy from Star hospital came to the hotel and did the swap, rest result got back by Whatsapp approx. 20 hours later, BUT.. you also need the hardcopy original report with the hospital stamp, the will bring it to the hotel, i received this approx.28 hours after they did the swap.

So verify yourself with the time it takes to get the hardcopy PCR report before you book a flight!.

Oslo, Norway
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949 posts
6. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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International flights out of Kathmandu remain closed until May 31st.

https://caanepal.gov.np/news-detail/post/urgent-notice-all-international-airlines-operating-nepal

Exception is the two weekly flights to New Delhi.

Specific rules apply:

https://www.civilaviation.gov.in/en/about-air-transport-bubbles

International transit via India is closed. Check IATA Timatic.

Edited: May 11, 2021, 9:50 pm
Espoo
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3,908 posts
7. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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Good old days are here again. Sneak over to Tibet, make your way to Pakistan, or some other -stan... 2-3 years or so, and the war will be over.

OG Australia
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882 posts
6 reviews
10 helpful votes
8. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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Then write a book of the adventure, sell the movie/ series rights to Netflix and ........

Nepal
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680 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
9. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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@6 The airport will be closed far beyond May 31. I guarantee it. Last year the first 2-week closure turned into 5 months.

Florida
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55 posts
3 reviews
4 helpful votes
10. Re: Leaving Kathmandu
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This being Quitou's 666th post pretty much seals that doom.

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