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Nepal

If you’re travelling to Nepal, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

If you are in Nepal or intend travelling to Nepal in the coming months, we advise that you check with your insurance provider the details which govern your policy cover in the event of an earthquake in the country.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia

Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling.  Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Emergency responses to the Covid-19 crisis in many countries have included restrictions of flights to/from Europe; imposition of new mandatory quarantine arrangements and new restrictions affecting the admission of Irish people travelling to and within the Asia Pacific region.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly advises against any non–essential travel to the region until further notice.

For more information, please see the latest update on our webpage.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Nepali Government has suspended the visa-on-arrival system. Any visitors with a compelling reason to visit Nepal must obtain a visa in advance from a Nepali diplomatic mission. 

The Nepali Government decision can be found here: http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/post/notice-regarding-temporaty-shutdown-of-visa-services-and-exemption-of-visa-fee-8  

The Government of Nepal has announced that it will extend the suspension of all international flights until at least 30 June.

The Nepali Government instituted a full lockdown on 24 March, for an initial period of one week, and this has been extended multiple times and is now in force until 14 June. Irish citizens in Nepal should follow the instructions of local authorities. Those who wish to be repatriated should contact the Embassy in New Delhi, via the Embassy Contact tab.

Novel Coronavirus

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Please be wary of these symptoms and seek immediate medical attention should such symptoms occur.

International travellers: practice usual precautions.
You can reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while travelling by:

  • avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
  • frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
  • avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals;
  • travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

Additional information on the Coronavirus can be found on the via the following links:

Nepal Ministry of Health and Population

World Health Organisation

ECDC

HPSC

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Nepal

Weather Notice

The monsoon season normally runs from June to September and often causes flooding and landslides. All means of travel can be hazardous, particularly in rural areas, and we recommend Irish citizens exercise caution when travelling, monitor local news sources, and plan alternative routes before travelling. 

Earth tremors are common across Nepal and the country is considered to be at high risk of a major earthquake. Nepal experienced two very strong earthquakes in April and May 2015 resulting in extensive damage to various parts of the country. The earthquakes caused infrastructural damage, caused landslides and left many roads in a fragile state.

Some towns, including Kathmandu, are often subject to severe levels of air pollution during the winter months, which can have short-term and long-term health implications for residents and travellers. We advise citizens to monitor air pollution levels, follow the advice of local authorities and to reduce their exposure to air pollution where possible by staying indoors and avoiding strenuous outdoor activity. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are concerned about the impact of pollution on your health, we advise you to seek medical advice before travelling to these locations. 

Emergency Assistance     

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Nepal, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in New Delhi.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Nepal before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Nepal, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Terrorism

There’s a risk of terrorist attacks in Nepal, particularly in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. There continue to be isolated incidents of bomb attacks (small improvised explosive devices), shootings and political violence across Nepal, including in Kathmandu. The most recent attack took place on 26 May 2019 in Kathmandu and caused four deaths. You should be cautious in public places and follow local advice.

Crime

Most visitors to Nepal experience a trouble-free stay. However, there are regular reports of crimes such as assault and theft against foreigners in Kathmandu and throughout the country. You should take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place – never leave them unattended in your hotel room
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
  • Consider exchanging money only at banks and hotels
  • Pick-pocketing and bag-snatching are common in Kathmandu, particularly in tourist areas

Lost passport

If you lose your passport in Nepal, most travellers can get an emergency travel document to allow them to travel back to Ireland. If you are not resident in Ireland, you will have to apply for an emergency passport at the Irish Embassy in New Delhi. This can take 7 to 10 days to arrange. If you lose your passport in Nepal, you will have to get an exit visa which can take some time. E-mail copies of your passport and visa to yourself. This can help speed up the process if you do lose your passport.

Serious crime

Airports, buses and hotel rooms are targeted by criminals and the number of bag-snatchings by motor-bikers, particularly in relatively quieter areas of Kathmandu Valley, is on the rise. There are also increasing reports of foreigners being injured during these incidents.

Assaults and robberies often take place in the evening in areas that are poorly lit, so you should be very cautious at night.

Tourist scams

You should exercise caution when entering ‘dance bars’ as some foreigners have been swindled or harassed in some of these places. Always be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers, and don’t leave your drinks unattended.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Nepal, report it to the local police or the Tourist Police in Kathmandu on (+377) (0)1 4700750 or the Tourist Police headquarters on (+377) (0)1 4247041. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in New Delhi if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Nepal, you should be extremely careful. Traffic drives on the left, as in Ireland, but road travel in general carries risk. Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit. If you stay longer than 15 days, you’ll need to apply for a local licence

Road safety

The general standard of driving throughout the country is poor and badly regulated. Roads in Kathmandu are very congested, many drivers are not properly licensed, trained or insured and vehicles are poorly maintained. There are few pavements outside central Kathmandu and motorists don’t yield right of way to pedestrians.

During the monsoon season (June to September) many roads outside the Kathmandu valley are prone to landslides and become impassable.

Public transport

Bus travel is particularly hazardous and fatal accidents are common. You should avoid travel on overnight buses.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Air Travel

Domestic air travel in Nepal can be dangerous due to the mountainous nature of the country, difficult approaches to airstrips and unpredictable mountain weather. There have been several fatal accidents involving a number of domestic airlines in recent years in Nepal. Your travel insurance may not cover you for internal domestic flights in Nepal due to the poor safety record of local airlines. Check with your travel insurance before you travel.

Check weather conditions before travelling with domestic airlines. Bad weather conditions can increase the risk and cause lengthy delays.

All carriers from Nepal have been refused permission to operate air services to the EU due to safety concerns.

Information on global airline safety is available from the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s audit of aviation safety oversight and the Aviation Safety network.

Trekking

We strongly advise you to remain on established routes, and to walk in groups. Don't trek alone and avoid becoming separated from your group.

Communication

Trekking in Nepal often involves travelling to remote areas, where internet and phone services are extremely limited. Treks often take longer than expected by several days, and family and friends often become worried if they don’t hear from a trekker when expected.

Insurance

If you’re planning to trek in Nepal it’s extremely important that your insurance covers you for the altitude that you are due to be trekking at.

Guides

Always use a reputable trekking company as there are a number of rogue guides who have reportedly robbed trekkers. Hire a guide and ensure that your trekking guide or company is registered with the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal, and that they have registered your trek with the Trekkers Information Management System.

Itineraries

Give a copy of your itinerary to a friend and/or family member, as well as to the Irish Embassy in New Delhi. Never venture from your scheduled itinerary without first advising a friend/family member of your new plans. Make sure you’re aware of the symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS).

Safety

There have been reports of trekkers being robbed. Isolated incidences of rape have also been reported on trekking routes, and female travellers in particular should be vigilant.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Local culture

You should respect local customs and dress conservatively. Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops in public places where this might be seen as inappropriate. Shoes should be removed before entering certain holy places. Non-Hindus are not permitted in certain temples.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for drugs related offences are severe. Possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence in excess of five years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process.

Surrogacy

The Supreme Court of Nepal has issued an interim order to immediately halt commercial surrogacy services in Nepal. We strongly recommend that commissioning parents not consider surrogacy in Nepal.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Travel in the rural areas during the Monsoon season (June - September) can be dangerous and you should be careful. Monsoon rains cause flooding and landslides that can cut off some towns and villages for days at a time. You should check access routes before setting off on a journey.

Avalanche/landslide

Earth tremors are common in this region and can cause landslides and avalanches in hilly and mountainous areas. In 2012, an avalanche/landslide caused flash flooding on the Seti River in the Kaski district north of Pokhara resulting in fatalities. Be alert to the risk of landslides and flash floods in mountainous areas and alongside river banks.

Earthquakes

Nepal is considered to be at high risk of a major earthquake. In the event of a large scale earthquake the assistance that can be given to Irish citizens would be extremely limited. If major roads and the international airport are damaged, it may not be possible for people to be evacuated for several days.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you’re unsure of the entry requirements for Nepal, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the Embassy of Nepal in London or Embassy or Consulate of Nepal nearest to you.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Nepal.

Medical treatment is expensive at western travellers' clinics in Nepal, while healthcare is poor in most places outside the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara.

Food and Water

Travellers to Nepal should be aware that food and water hygiene standards are not comparable to Ireland. Water-borne and food-borne diseases can cause serious illness and simple precautions include avoiding ice cubes; not drinking tap water; avoiding uncooked and undercooked food, especially from street vendors; and drinking boiled water or bottled water with intact sealed caps. 

More travel advice

More travel advice can be found on the websites listed below:

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

We do not have an Embassy in Nepal, please contact Embassy of Ireland India.

Embassy of Ireland
C17 Malcha Marg
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110 021
India

Tel: +91 11 4940 3200
Fax: +91 11 4059 1898

Monday to Friday 09:00-13:30 and 14:40-17:00

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr Manoj Shrestha
Honorary Consul of Ireland
G.P.O box: 1665
New Everest Construction PvT. Ltd.
Naya Baneshwor, Kathmandu
Nepal

Tel: +977 1 4780518

Email: Email us