Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Treks Suspended Until August 15

 

July 15 | Indiahikes Suspends All Treks Until August 15 Due To COVID-19

With the lockdown still prevalent over most parts of our country, we will not be able to run treks until the mid of August, or perhaps even later.  The Coronavirus infections seem to be on a steady increase, though the rate of infections seem to be slowing.

As always, our trekker’ safety, and the safety of Indiahikes staff is paramount. We hope you are safe.

If you have any questions regarding your treks, please call or email your Trek Coordinator.


May 2 | All Treks Suspended Until June 15th Due To COVID-19 Lockdown.

With the nation taking several measures to stop the spread of COVID19, we have decided to suspend our treks until June 15th.

We do not want our trekkers, or staff members to put themselves at risk by travelling during this time.

If you have any questions regarding your treks, please call or email your Trek Coordinator.


April 11 | All Indiahikes Treks Suspended Until May 31st Due To COVID-19  Lockdown

In lieu of the lockdown announced by the Prime Minister of our country, and the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country rising, Indiahikes will not run any treks until the end of May.

Keeping in mind the safety of our trekkers, team members, and the country at large, we have called off all our treks. Not travelling right now is the best thing we can do to control the spread of this virus.

If you have any queries regarding your trek, please call or email your Trek Coordinator.


 March 26, 5:00 PM | Indiahikes Suspends All Treks Until April 30th due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

With the 21-day lockdown announced by the Prime Minister of our country, we don’t think any trek is going to be possible until the end of April. 

With deep regret, we have to call off all our  treks until April 30th. It is not possible to trek during the Corona crisis.

Further, we do not want any of our staff, or trekkers to be traveling during these difficult times. We hope you and your families are safe.

If you have queries related to your trek, please email your Trek Coordinator.


 March 19, 2:30 PM | Trekking in the times of Coronavirus (COVID-19) : A note from the Indiahikes Founder

Indiahikes Founder Arjun Majumdar talks about trekking in the times of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its implications on the trekking world.

Given the current COVID-19 situation in the world we have suspended all batches from March 18 to April 16. It is not safe for our trekkers or staff to be travelling at this point in time. If you have queries related to your trek, please email your Trek Coordinator.

 

 


 March 17, 4:25 PM | Announcement for trekkers trekking in April, May and June

We understand that you are wondering what to do about your upcoming trek. Here’s our advice – don’t cancel your trek. 

We have changed our cancellation policy given the currect COVID-19 situation. Your Trek Coordinator has sent you an email to help you make a decision. 

We suggest that you postpone your trek until June or later. By then we will know if the COVID-19 crisis is over or not. We will not charge you for this. Many airlines are not charging for rescheduling flights either. 

This would be your best option, knowing that you won’t lose out on your travel tickets. Over the past week, many trekkers have been doing this. It’s reassuring for them, knowing that they can trek later in the year when the situation has improved and knowing that it doesn’t cost them anything.

If your trek is scheduled between April, May, and June, you would have received an email from your Trek Coordinator. Please reply to the email. Only your Trek Coordinator is authorized to postpone your trek.

 


March 16, 5.00 PM | Indiahikes suspends treks from March 18 to April 16 due to COVID-19

Given the current COVID-19 situation in the world we are suspending all treks between March 18th and April 16th. This means that we are not going to be running any of our treks over the next one month. 

It has been a tough decision for us to make. Most of our staff members are on a salary, with their livelihood depending on us and our decisions. We understand that the COVID-19 crisis is a serious threat to our nation. All of us must make sacrifices to safeguard not only ourselves but people around us. Not travelling now is the best thing we can do. 

Please stay safe. Stay within your confines as much as possible. 

If you have an upcoming trek in these dates, check your inbox for an email from your Trek Coordinator. You will know what steps you can take next.

If you have a trek coming up after April 16th, please wait for an update from us. We are currently on a wait-and-watch policy.


March 16, 2.30 PM  COVID-19 Trekking and Travel FAQ’s

Given the current COVID-19 situation in the world, the best thing to do at this moment is to avoid travelling.

We have been receiving phone calls and emails from concerned trekkers about their treks. In order to answer some questions you may have quickly, we’ve created this page for you.

Click here to read our FAQ’s about postponing your trek in the time of COVID-19.


March 12, 4:00 PM | Indiahikes Safety Measures against Covid-19

  • Our teams have constantly been screening the travel history (past 40 days) and the health of trekkers. We are also checking those who have travelled within India to the zones most affected by COVID-19. 
  • Further, anyone showcasing symptoms of cough, cold, shortness of breath or fever are being asked not to come on the trek. We have already disallowed 7 such trekkers, even before they left from their homes. 
  • At our base camps, if trekkers come with any symptoms of cough, cold, fever, they are not allowed on the trek. Fortunately, we haven’t had to turn anyone around, because the pre-trek safety check is making sure no one with symptoms comes on the trek. 
  • We are providing hygiene liners to all our trekkers. These are used as a first layer before entering sleeping bags. Every trekker uses his/her own liner from the base camp till the last. We are washing, disinfecting and sunning these liners thoroughly after every use. Here’s a video of our team at work. 
  • We have issued isopropyl alcohol solution to all our camps. You may know that isopropyl alcohol is the main content of a hand sanitizer. It is a rubbing alcohol and kills germs. All our team members are constantly using these to stay hygienic.
  • We are providing trekkers with warm water after every meal to wash their dishes. This is simply to ensure that they wash their cutlery properly, which becomes very difficult with cold water in the mountains.
  • Our Eco Bags are washed before trekkers can use them. These Eco-Bags help us keep the mountains clean. And our teams are scrubbing them clean with soap after every use.

March 12, 2:30 PM | We have opened treks for the rest of the year given the Covid 19 situtaion

We have opened up batches for all our treks from June onwards, all the way to October. This includes our Himachal treks treks like Hampta PassBhrigu LakeBeas Kund, and all our Uttarakhand treks like Dayara BugyalRupin Pass and Brahmatal in the post-monsoon season.

We have also opened up dates to our Kashmir treks — Kashmir Great Lakes and Tarsar Marsar.

As a bonus, we have also opened up the Warwan Valley trek in Kashmir. We have been waiting for 4 years to open up this trek, and hopefully, this year works well for Kashmir.

So go ahead and postpone / plan your future trek. Let’s hope the Covid-19 is not here to stay. 

 


March 12, 10:oo AM | Nepal treks called off for summer 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced us to take a hard call on our international treks

We are calling off all our Nepal treks for summer 2020.

While the whole world is trying to avoid international travel to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, we feel this is a step trekkers must also take. India has already closed doors to other countries. Nepal is likely to follow suit. 

So we will not be running our Annapurna Base Camp trek, Khopra Ridge trek or Everest Base Camp treks. 

We are as dejected as you, but when there is a question mark of safety, calling off these treks is the responsible thing to do.


March 11 | Update for Trekkers Travelling From Other Countries

As a precautionary measure to keep trekkers safe from the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, we are not accepting trekkers traveling from certain countries (and airports) on our treks until April 15th (whether they are foreign nationals or Indians).

Please check the list of countries and airports below.

We are taking this measure to ensure your safety — as well as the safety of the other trekkers in the group.

You would know that a trek is not the same as regular travel. On a trek, you share a tent, you exert yourself, your hygiene is compromised, your immunity goes down. Under these conditions, we are not willing to risk the safety of any of our trekkers, including you. 

World over, countries are closing doors to international travellers. 

India too has suspended visas to France, Germany and Spain nationals.  

Most of the people affected in India have a history of recent international travel. 

Here’s a snippet from the Press Information Bureau:

“A total of fifty (50) confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country, till now. After the 44 positive cases declared yesterday, three (3) positive cases were reported from Bengaluru (with travel history from the US via Dubai); one (1) more from Bengaluru with travel history from US via Heathrow; and two (2) positive cases from Pune (travel history from Dubai). Three (3) of the total cases(earlier cases from Kerala) have been discharged now. Of these 50 cases, 34 cases are Indian nationals and 16 are Italians.”

Given this history and background, we strongly advise those who are arriving in India from other countries to not to do the trek. This is our stance for all treks until April 10th.

We understand that you may have had your trek planned for a long time, but this is a hard call we have to take in these circumstances. 

| Given the situation, we have two options for you. 

1. You could postpone your trek. We will not charge you for this. You can change your trek date or your trekking trail altogether. We will help you make the shift. Just get in touch with your Trek Coordinator for this.

2. You could cancel your trek. Even though our cancellation policy may not call for it, we will give you a full refund minus 4% bank charges.
(Note: This refund is applicable only to those travelling from other countries for their treks, and because Indiahikes is cancelling their treks on an individual basis. We are not calling off our treks, they are running as usual.)

Meanwhile, these are some steps we are taking to keep trekkers safe during the Covid-19 outbreak:

Our teams are strictly screening the travel history of all our participants over the past 40 days. We’re inspecting anyone who has travelled internationally during this period. We are also checking those who have travelled within India to the zones most affected by the Covid-19 scare.

Further, anyone showcasing symptoms of cough, cold, shortness of breath or fever are being asked not to come on the trek. At the base camp trekkers with any symptom of cough, cold, fever will not be allowed on the trek. This is a precaution to make sure the ill trekker and all other trekkers are safe.

Our Trek Coordinators are keeping a close eye on a daily basis on the Covid-19 situation. We will be sharing daily updates on our website as and when we receive fresh reports.

This is a situation that nobody saw coming. But I hope you understand and help us through this.


March 9, 2020 | Goechala Trek: Sikkim Government Suspends ILP For Foreigners due to Coronavirus Scare

Please note that the state government has suspended the Inner Line Permit for now, which means foreign nationals will not be able to trek in Sikkim.

In a notification issued by the Home Department, Joint Secretary Parina Gurang said, “In view of rapid spread of coronavirus, no ILP may be issued to foreign nationals, including those from Bhutan, with effect from today.”

We are not sure when they will start issuing ILPs again. It’s an unfortunate step, but there are alternatives. We are offering the Sandakphu trek as an alternative to foreign trekkers who have signed up with Indiahikes. It is outside of Sikkim, yet close enough to help you stick to your flight/train plans.

Thankfully, Sandakphu is a very good alternative, especially at this time of the year. You’ll find all you need to know about Sandakphu trek here.


March 8, 2020| Coronavirus: Thinking of postponing your trek? We won’t charge you for it

We understand that because of the Coronavirus outbreak, many of you may want to change your trek plans. And we don’t want you to worry about it.

At Indiahikes, we do not charge you for shifting your trek to a future date. You could even shift to another trek altogether. This applies for anyone with an upcoming trek in the month of March.

Just write an email to your trek coordinator stating your current trek name and date, and which trek and date you would like to shift to.

We will shift your trek with no charges. If there is a difference in the trek fee, we will either send you a voucher of the balance amount, or we will send you a payment link to make the rest of the payment.

Just make sure the future date has enough slots to accommodate you and your group.

Get in touch with us any time, we’re here to help.


March 6, 2020 | Steps IH is taking to keep trekkers safe during the Covid-19 Scare

For the next month, until further developments in the Coronavirus situation, we are screening the travel history of all our participants over the previous 40 days. We’re inspecting anyone who has travelled internationally during this period. We are also checking those who have travelled within India to the zones most affected by the Covid-19 scare.

Further, anyone showcasing symptoms of cough, cold, shortness of breath or fever are being asked not to come on the trek. At the base camp trekkers with any symptom of cough, cold, fever will not be allowed on the trek. This is a precaution to make sure the ill trekker and all other trekkers are safe.

Our Trek Coordinators are keeping a close eye on a daily basis on the Covid-19 situation. We will be sharing daily updates on our website as and when we receive fresh reports.


March 11, 2020 | Addressing Covid – Preventive Measures Taken By Indiahikes

Today I want to talk about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

This is worrying trekkers. Many are apprehensive to go to the mountains, scared that they might come in contact with someone infected with the virus, or worse, catch it themselves.

None of them want to go through the mess of getting themselves quarantined, missing on work, becoming a source of conversations, endless hospital visits and generally creating anxiety all around. 

So should you worry about Covid-19? Yes and No. 

The reality of Covid-19 

Yes, the Covid-19 is real. It is in India. There are 29 people already infected. The number will rise significantly. New cases will emerge. People who have been in contact with those already infected could test positive. 

Yet, I don’t see a reason to panic. Or to not plan a trek. 

Governments of countries like China, Singapore, Italy, Iran and India have learnt how to act quickly. Hospitals are ready. Awareness among people is high. 

The reassuring trend

What experts are noticing (including the WHO) is that most people have been getting infected mildly by the Coronavirus and recovering with treatment. 

What’s more reassuring is that experts are not scaring us. They are not calling it the end of the world. In fact, they are pushing people to maintain personal hygiene and take care of themselves, saying the virus is avoidable.

I know that the media is painting a scary picture, but that is unavoidable with the media. 

There’s no need to cancel your trek plan unless you’re already sick

Unless you are already suffering some illness, I don’t think there’s a reason for you to worry. 

So go ahead and plan your trek. Our summer trek registrations are going on as usual. People have not stopped booking. The groups are filling up as usual. 

If you want to be on the side of caution, register for the treks but don’t make your flight bookings as yet. We notice because of the Covid-19 scare, flight rates have not gone up yet. 

You can wait and watch until the end of March. See how the Covid-19 virus plays out and then make your flight bookings. 

Food Indiahikes

Some steps we are taking to keep trekkers safe during the Covid-19 scare

For the next month, until further developments in the Coronavirus situation, we are screening the travel history of all our participants over the previous 40 days. We’re inspecting anyone who has travelled internationally during this period. We are also checking those who have travelled within India to the zones most affected by the Covid-19 scare. 

Further, anyone showcasing symptoms of cough, cold, shortness of breath or fever are being asked not to come on the trek. At the base camp trekkers with any symptom of cough, cold, fever will not be allowed on the trek. This is a precaution to make sure the ill trekker and all other trekkers are safe.

Our Trek Coordinators are keeping a close eye on a daily basis on the Covid-19 situation. We will be sharing daily updates on our website as and when we receive fresh reports. 

While travelling, take all the precautions suggested by experts

  • Avoid touching too many unknown surfaces. If you do, clean your hands with a sanitiser or simple liquid soap (even outside the Covid-19 issue, I always carry liquid soap in a small old shampoo bottle. I keep it in my pocket)
  • Wash / clean your hands every two hours. Bring your own hand sanitiser, with alcohol content of at least 60% 
  • If you cough / sneeze, cover your face with your inner elbow
  • Maintain distance from anyone coughing or sneezing
  • Wear a mask, sunglasses to limit physical contact with outside elements
  • Avoid sharing cutlery on treks. Trekkers tend to do this to avoid washing their cutlery in the cold weather. But until the Covid-19 scare goes away, eat out of your own cutlery.
  • Be wary of the restaurants and hotels you’re eating at before and after your trek. 

All our treks are running as scheduled. If there’s any change in schedule for any of our treks, your Trek Coordinator will inform you. 

For our Nepal treks, we are being more careful. We want to see how the Nepal government deals with the virus spread. We will make a decision on March 13th about the schedule of our treks. If you’d like to plan alternate treks within India, your Trek Coordinator will help you out. Just get in touch with them. 

Thinking of postponing your trek? We won’t charge you for it 

We understand that because of the Coronavirus outbreak, many of you may want to change your trek plans. And we don’t want you to worry about it.

At Indiahikes, we will not charge you for shifting your trek to a future date. You could even shift to another trek altogether. This applies for anyone with an upcoming trek in the month of March.

Just write an email to your trek coordinator stating your current trek name and date, and which trek and date you would like to shift to.

We will shift your trek with no charges. If there is a difference in the trek fee, we will either send you a voucher with the balance amount, or we will send you a payment link to make the rest of the payment.

Just make sure the future date has enough slots to accommodate you and your group.

Get in touch with us any time, we’re here to help.

We hope you don’t lose out on a good trek this summer. If you have any questions, drop in a comment below, one our of trek experts will get back to you.

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6 thoughts on “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Treks Suspended Until August 15

  1. Most of the trekkers plying to treks would land up in Delhi and mostly the Delhi airport from where they either will be taking train or bus to their pickup point via Delhi Metro. All of these places are heavily crowded and with fresh cases of Cornovirus coming in, would it be still safe to travel ?
    I have booked trek for March 14 for Brahmatal and is now reluctant to go.
    In case I decide to cancel the trek due to the outbreak what would happen to my trek booking?
    Please advise!

    1. Hi Aniruddha, we would suggest waiting for another couple of days before you make your decision to go ahead or cancel your plan. There are new developments occurring everyday and things might change in the next two days. Even we are on a wait and watch policy.

      As of now our treks are running normally, trekkers are moving in and out of Delhi, driving to the base camp, doing their treks, everything is going on normally.

      But in case you’d like to cancel, our cancellation policy would apply. You’ll find the policy here – https://indiahikes.com/brahmatal-trek/#cancellation-policy

  2. I was waiting for this email from India hikes:) so, the measures seem great and reassuring … just a quick question, how will we screen the travel history of trekkers? If it is simply by asking them it’s a bit risky as anyone can give incorrect information.

    1. Hi Kunjal, we are trusting our trekkers to share the right information with us. It’s hard to do anything if trekkers lie about their past travels. But the next step is to disallow their trek / quarantine them if they are showing any symptoms of sickness. We will not take them on the trek.

  3. Namaskar!
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you Swathi for the wonderful articles, regularly! The article on Corono Virus is really helpful.
    Thank You once again