Dear valued guests, friends, and partners,

We hope and pray that you are safe, sound, and healthy.

At Nepal Sanctuary Treks, we care about the experience of every single guest and our sole purpose, as always, is your health and safety. In light of the impact and changes triggered by the Coronavirus, we want to ensure that our attention centered on the health and safety of all our valued guests and staff members, without compromising the high standards and quality of your trip experience.

Considering the emerging COVID-19 situation, Nepal Sanctuary Treks will be taking standards for safety and hygiene very seriously, along with additional steps to make sure the safety of our guests and employees.

Prior to your trip, we recommend you check your government’s travel advisory and the World Health Organization website for the most current information about destinations and permitted travel from each country.

Nepal Sanctuary Treks COVID-19 Safe Health and Safety Guidelines:

Pre- Arrival Information

  • Request guests to fill out a Booking Form that not only comprises basic emergency details but also physical information such as age, any medical problems, any chronic diseases, and travel history for the last 30 days
  • Request guests to enroll in their respective country’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program, so they can receive any security or safety updates in case of emergency from their nearest Embassy/Consulate.
  • Send mandatory health declaration form, hygiene, and social distancing protocols during the tour or trek and to follow safety measures as stated by the Ministry of Health and Population and the World Health Organization.
  • Advise guests to take a bunch of toothpicks or cotton swabs along while traveling and uses them to push elevator or ATM buttons. Carefully dispose of them after using them once instead of carrying them for another use.
  • Advise guests to add a sanitary kit containing a mask, gloves, and sanitizing gel on their packing list.

Guests Responsibility

We request that you please take personal responsibility for your wellbeing. This initiates with packing any personal protective equipment and sanitizers you needed.  However, during trip, we carry spare face masks and gloves that will be distributed to you if required. Please adopt social distancing and hygiene measures throughout your pre-trip travel arrangements and follow all health instruction whether physical signage, or requests from our trekking staff once you are travelling with us.

  • Guests should carry their own masks with them to use when traveling.
  • Guests should report to  leader of any symptoms of kind of illness.
  • Guests should have travel medical insurance that covers helicopter evacuation, and the travel medical company would ensure that clients would be medi-vaced out in case of any illness.
  • Guests shall agree to follow the company’s health and safety protocol in case of any suspected case of virus transmission or illness within the group or within the area.
  • Guests shall be requested to carry their own sanitizer with them in their packs at all times (they would bring their own on activity with them)

Guest- On Arrival 

If guest has symptoms on arrival before checking-in, before pick-up etc., they should be asked to contact their healthcare professional and self-isolate and monitor their symptoms. This is unless symptoms are already severe, in which case a medical professional should be consulted instantly

  • Forms of greeting that involve physical contact with the guest should be avoided.
  • Check the temperature of all the passengers before boarding.
  • Guest luggage sprayed with a disinfection spray after off-loading, or wiped, and all handles and corners carefully wiped with surface sanitizer.
  • Guests are required to wear face masks.

Transportation

  • Our drivers will follow local protocols on the usage of face masks and required social distancing.
  • All relevant touch points (seats, door handles, etc.) in vehicles will be disinfected regularly throughout the day.
  • Vehicle used to transport guests are fully disinfected at the end of the service, and daily four multi-day services.
  • Vehicles have pedal trash bin available for guests.
  • Driver will wear mouth mask and gloves and maintain social distance.
  • The representative will put on mask and take as much social distance as possible.
  • Hand Sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and masks are available to all guests on board.
  • Comprehensive First-aid kits in vehicle are fully equipped
  • Only guests of same travel group places in same vehicle.
  • The number of guest per vehicle will be limited to seating capacity.
  • The seat next to the driver must be vacant.
  • Ensure guests stay on the designated seats. No changing of the seats allowed.

Accommodation

  • Temperature check upon arrival
  • Provided of Hand cleaning facilities
  • Social distancing measures during check-in / check-out and contact is limited
  • Meals are served A La Carte or served by a waiter
  • Thoroughly sanitize room after guest check out. Keep room vacant for 24 hours after checkout; re-clean the room, seal for further 24 hours before next guest checks in.
  • Follows cleaning and hygiene protocols
  • Accommodation that Nepal Sanctuary Treks working with are assessed on hygiene standard in regard to COVID-19
  • Nepal Sanctuary Treks will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines.
    We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimizing contact within the properties.

Restaurants

  • Ensure practice of hand washing/disinfecting by guests when entering and leaving
  • Self-service buffet and shared dishes are avoided. Meals are Ala-Carte or served by waiter. Wherever possible, food and beverages will be served to guests by staff wearing protective masks.
  • The tables are sufficiently spaced.
  • Only restaurants with strict protocols that comply by local requirements for food hygiene and physical distancing will be used. We will encourage outdoor eating spaces where possible.

Before starting the trekking/tour

  • Our representative shall provide a briefing to guests on new procedures including health and safety protocol. (no touching surfaces, keeping a safe distance, wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, etc.);
  • The guide must inform the guest/group of how the visit will be carried out, the route and the rules and/or possible restrictions applied by the various providers (museums, cultural sites, natural areas, place of interest etc.).
  • Clearly identify where guests should wait and strictly enforce physical distancing inside and outside of the property.

During Trekking/Tour Activities

  • The trek/tour guide must always appear calm and confident in applying this protocol. Guests must be reminded of complying with this protocol of measures throughout the trip.
  • Avoid greeting other trekking/tour guides from other company, providers and visitors with physical contact, including shaking hands. Safe distances must be respected whenever possible.
  • The safe distance between the guide and guests, and between guests themselves, should be maintained throughout the trip. If this is not possible, a mask should be used and guests should be encouraged to use on too. Guests must be informed of this and whether they must bring a mask.
  • Driver and trek guide should only make drop offs for the use of restaurants, and restrooms that have adopted improved health and safety measures.
  • Avoid unplanned stops with guests that bring them in contact with other individuals.
  • If a “prepared lunch” or snacks are provided by the NST to the guests, the food must be provided by an establishment that can provide a verifiable trail of how the food was handled and by whom.
  • Vehicles shall not be allowed to make stopover at any other place apart from the prearranged designated point or areas
  • Doors should be opened by the guide for the guests to minimize touching of door handles, etc.
  • Sharing of equipment between guests should be prohibited. Reusable supplies (mobiles, headphones, and charger) should be thoroughly sanitized prior to use by any guest.

Camping Trek

  • All tents must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • All safety equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
  • All trekkers will be in a single tent, apart from for couples or people who have traveled to Nepal together.
  • The beds for each trekker must be set up at a distance of two meters from each other and one camp must be set up at a distance of 30 meters from another camp.
  • The dining tent should be well ventilated and large enough to have 1-meter space between trekkers.
  • Consider ways to get into and out of the dining tent without having to use a common zip.
  • Clients must wear masks in a dining tent (they should bring their own).
  • Warm washing water and soap provided outside the dining tent.
  • Avoid using a common towel for drying hands
  • Have separate bowls for clients for snacks so that clients are sharing serving utensils as little as possible.
  • Have guide serve snacks, meals, and tea so clients do not share common plates and utensils
  • Clients and staff inside the tent must leave a tent when they cough or sneeze, or at the very least cough into their elbow or shirt.
  • Toilets should be away from food preparation areas. They should be clean and properly constructed.
  • Clients must wear masks in the dining tent (they should bring their own).
  • Place Hand Sanitizer push top container inside the dining tent and in front of the toilet tent.
  • Make sure all toilet tents are well stocked with hand washing liquid and paper towels.
  • Make sure a full medical kit comprising additional masks, inhalers, disposable gloves, and thermometer.
  • Limited interaction with communities when camping.
  • Make sure the proper management of waste materials at the campsite.
  • The group shall not invite other people into dining, kitchen, or personal tents.

Kitchen Tent, and Trekking Crew Protocols

  • The kitchen and trekking leader must follow  safety and hygiene protocol
  • Staff would wear masks all the time at camp or when shopping for local supplies.
  • Disinfect all utensils for use in the dining tent (steam for 10 min).
  • Adequate sanitizer, soap, and water should make available at the kitchen tent.
  • Plenty of clean towels should be kept at the kitchen tent for drying utensils.
  • The safety measures concerning physical distancing should be done when shopping for local supplies. Bring your own reusable shopping bags and rinse when finished shopping.
  • Soak fruits and vegetables for one minute or more in a mixture of two quarts (2L) water with 1-2 droppers of Iodine (or 4-6 drops of Iodine Solution)

After the Trek/Tour

  • Avoid the use of cash and prioritize the use of cards or other electronic means, preferably contactless, when charging and paying for services. If cash is handled, hands should be washed or disinfected as soon as possible.
  • Protective materials used (masks, gloves, etc.) must be disposed of properly or throw away in designated waste bins or containers.

Implement monitoring and reporting (Trekking)

  • Prior to departing on trek and throughout the trek, a temperature check, altitude sickness, pulse monitoring and visual observation of symptoms should be conducted for each guest and logged.
  • Measuring of body temperature at least twice a day
  • Monitoring for symptoms such as fever, constant coughing, or breathing difficulties.
  • The recorded form must submit to General Manager upon returning from trip.
  • If symptoms of COVID-19 or a strong suspicion that someone is infected, our Managing Director or General Manager is informed.
  • All drivers, trekking crew and office employees received health and safety training.

Safety and Health measures at the workplace

  • Follow standard procedures for waste management. Waste material produced during the cleaning should be placed in the unsorted garbage.
  • Office sanitization by disinfecting surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, handles, keyboard, telephone, computers, light switches, chairs, etc. to be done at least twice a day.
  • Hand sanitizers to be made accessible at common areas
  • Avoid using and borrowing other’s belongings for instance pens, earphones, water bottles, etc.
  • Do not share food or utensils
  • Proper ventilation of the premises and limited use of controlled air appliances.
  • Place minimum visible objects in on the tables.
  • Ensure strict physical distancing in common areas such as kitchen, balcony, restrooms, and waiting area
  • Place information boards in visible spots with clear hygiene and safety guidelines.
  • Notify staff to stay home from work if they experience symptoms compatible with COVID-They are recommended to follow local public health guidance and seek medical assistance.
  • Staff running temperature more than 98.6° F should be asked to return home
  • Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands after every transaction
  • Provide staff with tissues and waste bins lined with a plastic bag so that they can be emptied without contacting the contents
  • Utilize online meetings facility as far as possible
  • Washrooms, change rooms, and kitchen utensils to be cleaned and sanitized at every use with reliable disinfectant.

Office Kitchen

  • The kitchen must be sanitized at regular intervals
  • Ensure proper cleaning of vegetables and all other materials that are required in the kitchen; use approved sanitizing agent
  • Ensure all kitchen equipment get sanitized after each use

Receiving tools

  • Proper cleaning procedures for items being received
  • All supplies need to be completely sanitized before entering the store and refrigerators
  • Ensure the area is sanitized at regular intervals
  • Vendors should be advised on how we will accept goods and how their staff should arrive with necessary protective gear.

Cleaning and disinfecting vehicle

  • Clean and disinfect the surfaces and objects that are touched frequently by passengers, as door handles, window buttons, locks, armrests, seat cushions, buckles, and seatbelts. Also wipe down surfaces that drivers often touch, like the steering wheel, radio buttons, turn indicators, and cup holders.
  • Use regular disinfectant products (for instance, alcohol-based multipurpose products) that are suitable for the surface.
  • Keep the vehicle doors open while vacuuming and disinfecting.
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and only use them once. Throw gloves in the trash after use and wash hands immediately with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wait until all surfaces have dried before giving a ride to guests.
  • Clean and disinfect the vehicles and hubs regularly with the standard detergents, ensure the increased frequency of waste collection.
  • All vehicles after longer trips, or at the end of a day, should go through a deeper clean, and car hire vehicles must go through a similar deep clean on return

Staff Safety and Training

  • All employees and trekking crews underwent training to ensure health and safety measures are upheld and to protect the health of our guests.
  • Encourage employees’ use of private rather than public transport, for example encouraging workers to walk to work, use of bicycles if possible.
  • Wear gloves during cash transactions. If cash is handled without gloves, hands must be washed to avoid a significant risk of contamination
  • Educate leaders, crew, and staff on how to detect COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Some staff in certain functions such as guiding guests, vehicle cleaning should have additional training specific to their roles.
  • Tour/ Trekking Leader is trained regularly on the Emergency Protocol in case there is an outbreak (within the group or in the area where the group is touring)

Chain Supplier’s Health and Safety Protocol

  • Require all suppliers to detail their cleaning and sanitation etiquettes.
  • Our team inspect the chain suppliers including accommodation, restaurants, and transport providers on their cleanliness and sanitation.

Hygiene Etiquette and Physical Distancing

  • Ensure that trekkers have all the necessary things that need to ensure exceptional hygiene.
  • Trekking and tour team and guests must wear facial coverings.
  • In each trip, our trekking crew will carry alcohol wipes and hand sanitizers. However, we suggest guests bringing their own hygiene equipment as well.
  • Regularly use sanitizer when not wearing gloves and avoid passing the sanitizer bottle to another person.
  • Promote good respiratory hygiene etiquette.
  • Wash hand regularly before, during and after experience. Scrub for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Greet with wave and joining hand together “Namaste” instead of hugs or handshakes
  • The group shall maintain distance from other trekking groups and villagers.
  • Minimize cash transactions wherever possible. Pre-payments,  credit, and debit cards should be maximized. If a guest or staff member handles cash, hand sanitizing should be done instantly afterward.