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Nepal

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Latest updates: Safety and security - Face coverings

Risk level(s)

COVID-19 – Global travel advisory

Effective date: March 13, 2020

Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.

This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.

More about the Global travel advisory

Nepal - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Nepal due to the fragile political and security situation.

Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

Preventative measures and restrictions are in place. Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing.

You must wear a face covering in public.

If you fail to respect preventative measures, you could be fined and face imprisonment for endangering public health.

Crime

Petty theft is common, particularly near tourist sites, on buses and in hotel rooms.

Take particular care when walking around Kupandol, Sanepa and Thamel, popular tourist spots in Kathmandu, where pickpocketing is common.

Festival season

There is a significant increase in crime, including thefts, purse and bag snatchings, pickpocketing and break-ins, during the festival season, which extends from September to November. Maintain a high level of personal security awareness and ensure that your personal belongings and your passports are secure.

Women’s safety

Women are vulnerable to harassment and verbal abuse. Dress conservatively, particularly in remote areas.

Female tourists travelling alone are more at risk of violent attacks.

Safe-travel guide for women

Political tensions

While Nepal continues its transition to a stable democracy, the political situation remains fragile and tensions can increase with little notice.

Acts of violence

Small-scale, politically-motivated attacks occasionally occur, especially in Kathmandu. Past attacks have led to injuries and sometimes caused deaths. Foreigners have not been targeted. Further attacks are likely.

Demonstrations

Political protests are common in Nepal and sometimes result in violence. Transport and public services may be disrupted at short notice.

Politically motivated protests have been particularly volatile in Kathmandu as well as in Nepal’s southern region bordering India, which has at times resulted in supply shortages and affected border crossings.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Strikes

General strikes (locally referred to as bandhs) are a popular form of political expression and can occur on short notice throughout the country. Such strike action can affect access to services. While bandhs are usually peaceful, riots and violence are possible. During a bandh, businesses and roads may close and transportation services may be unavailable or severely disrupted.

Avoid travelling on public transportation during or immediately preceding bandhs, as tourists have been injured. Transportation to and from airports throughout Nepal could be affected. Army and police checkpoints are frequent, especially at night.

Follow the advice of local authorities and respect curfews and roadblocks.

Road safety

Exercise caution when travelling by road as road conditions and driving standards are poor and traffic laws are not enforced.

Drivers often drive at excessive speed and often do not yield right-of-way to pedestrians.

Many mountain and hill roads, which can be hazardous even in the best weather, are intermittently impassable during the monsoon season due to landslides.

Traffic is congested in the Kathmandu Valley.

Public transportation

Most public buses are often poorly maintained and accidents involving buses, often causing injuries and fatalities, are common.

Avoid travelling on overnight buses.

Tourist buses are generally safe.

Boat accidents are common due to the overloading and poor maintenance of vessels. Do not board vessels that appear overloaded or unfit, especially where there are strong currents.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Trekking and mountain climbing

Emergency services such as evacuations and rescues from remote areas are available but can be hindered by:

There have been helicopter rescue scams in the past. Ensure that you are dealing with reputable helicopter companies. Check with your trekking agency for updates on the security situation in the area.

If you intend to trek:

Trekkers’ Information Management System

All trekkers must purchase a trekkers’ information management system (TIMS) card from one of the following entities:

National park permit

You must obtain a national park entry permit before entering official trekking regions or routes such as those in the Annapurna, Everest and Langtang regions.

Permits may be obtained from the national tourism board after arrival in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

More about trekking permits - Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal

Risks

A number of hikers and guides have been stranded, injured or killed while trekking.

Many popular trekking trails ascend higher than 5,500 metres. You may experience acute mountain sickness at high altitudes and should be well informed on possible hazards in the high mountains.

Drops in temperature and changes in weather conditions, including blizzards and avalanches can occur suddenly in mountainous regions at any time of year.

Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, be prepared for varying weather conditions, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.

If heading to the high country, make sure you are well informed on trail conditions and possible hazards.

Rafting

Organize white-water rafting excursions through reputable agencies only.

Power cuts

Due to an energy shortage, electric power cuts, termed “load shedding,” are a year-round occurrence. They occur frequently for short periods and without advance notice. 

Landmines

Landmines and unexploded ordnance constitute a risk in parts of the country, including in some trekking areas. Follow the advice of local authorities, and only travel on well-used roads and paths.

Entry/exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions

In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions for their territory. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel. Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions related to this situation.

Restrictions imposed could include:

Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.

Foreign diplomatic offices in Canada – Global Affairs Canada

COVID-19 - Flights and borders

Nepalese authorities have suspended all commercial flights in and out of the country and closed all land borders until further notice.

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Nepalese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Nepal.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: Required (valid for up to 60 days)
Business visa: Required (only issued in Nepal)
Student visa: Required

Canadians must have a visa to visit Nepal.

You can purchase a tourist visa at:

You will need to supply a recent passport-size photo. Ensure that you have the necessary amount of funds (Canadian and U.S. dollars are accepted) with you if you wish to obtain a visa upon arrival. Check with the closest Nepalese embassy or consulate for the latest visa fees.

Tourist Visa - Department of Immigration, Government of Nepal

Visa overstays

Overstaying your visa is an offence and immigration authorities can detain you until you pay a fine. In addition to fines and detention, overstays can result in a 7-year ban on re-entry.

Travel to Tibet

If you intend to travel to Tibet from Nepal, contact the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu for current entry regulations and consult the Travel Advice and Advisories for China.

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

 

Health

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Travellers going to countries in South Asia should speak to a health care professional about getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.

About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in South Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in South Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasismalaria, and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round.  It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Lymphatic filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.


Malaria

Malaria


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Southern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Outside the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara, medical services and facilities do not meet standards you might expect in Canada.

Most hospitals require up-front payment or confirmation of insurance coverage prior to commencing treatment. Following an incident or accident, you should contact your travel insurance company without delay.

Medical evacuation to Bangkok, Thailand, New Delhi, India, or Singapore is often necessary for serious conditions. Carry medical and first aid kits.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Health tip

Trekkers may experience frostbite and acute mountain sickness (AMS) at high altitudes. AMS can be deadly. Carry travel and health insurance that includes provisions for helicopter rescue, medical evacuation and treatment for accidental injury and medical emergencies.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences, including life imprisonment, and heavy fines.

Photography

Photography of military installations and personnel is prohibited.

Firearms

You may not bring any kind of firearm into Nepal. Violators who bring in firearms or ammunition may be prosecuted. This includes firearm imitations or in jewelry form.

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Helmets are mandatory for motorcycle drivers.

You must carry an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

Culture

Women should dress conservatively in public.

Public displays of affection are considered to be inappropriate at many of Nepal’s religious sites.

Commercial surrogacy

Commercial surrogacy services for foreigners is banned in Nepal. If you have already entered into such an arrangement, you should seek advice from a local lawyer on how this ban could affect your situation and, in particular, on any exit requirement.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Nepal.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Nepal, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Money

The currency is the Nepalese rupee (NPR).

The economy is largely cash-based; however, credit cards can be used in major stores, hotels and restaurants. ATMs are available in larger cities such as Kathmandu and Pokhara. 

It is illegal to take NPR banknotes out of the country.

Any amount over US$5,000 in cash (or equivalent in foreign currencies) must be declared at customs upon arrival in Nepal.

Natural disasters and climate

Earthquakes

Nepal is located in an active seismic zone and there is a continued risk of earthquakes, aftershocks and landslides.

Become familiar with local earthquake safety procedures. In the event of an earthquake, exercise caution, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Monsoon season

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from June to September. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services.

Avalanches

In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk and have resulted in fatalities. Monitor local media and weather forecasts and follow the advice of local authorities.

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 100
  • tourist police: + 977 1 424 7041
  • medical assistance: 102
  • firefighters: 101

General assistance

  • Tourist Police in Kathmandu: 1144 (hotline)
  • Tourist Police in Pokhara: +977 61 462761
  • Thamel Tourism Development Council: +977 1 4700750

More about the Tourist Police

Consular assistance

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Consulate of Canada in Nepal is only providing emergency assistance, in coordination with the High Commission of Canada in India. If you need consular assistance, contact the High Commission.

Kathmandu - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressKaldhara Marg 20356, Khusibu, Kathmandu, NepalPostal AddressP.O. Box 3596Telephone+977 1 438 7910Emailkathmandu@international.gc.caFacebookConsulate of Canada in NepalTwitter@CanadainNepal
New Delhi - High Commission of Canada
Street Address7/8 Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021, IndiaTelephone+91 11 4178 2000Fax+91 11 4178 2023Emailindia.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.canada.ca/CanadaAndIndiaServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to IndiaTwitter@CanadainIndiaConsular districtAndaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand

For emergency consular assistance, call the Consulate of Canada in Nepal and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.

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