Indiahikes Treks till June 15th Suspended in light of Covid-19 – Latest Update

Follow this page for the latest updates on trekking during the second wave of Covid. We are updating it as and when we get the latest information.

 

May 12th | IH Treks until June 15th Suspended

Given the widespread Covid-19 situation, we have further suspended all our treks until June 15th. If you have an upcoming trek during this period, look for an email from your Experience Coordinator in your inbox.

If you have a trek after June 15th, our advice is that you hold onto it. We are closely monitoring the Covid situation and will run our treks if we find it safe to do so. If not, your Experience Coordinator will get in touch with you, and share a further plan of action.

If you were planning to sign up for a trek, from July onwards would be the safest time to sign up. We see the vaccination drive going strong in the country, and expect to tide over the crisis by then. So plan treks from July onwards. You’ll find them here.

 


April 21st, 1 pm | Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are suspending all our treks until April 27th

One thing is clear, the virus is spreading viciously in our country. It looks to be more infectious than last year. It is no longer safe to travel or gather in groups. Owing to this, we had to take a hard call.

It was a tough decision for us to take, but we have to keep everyone’s safety in mind, especially our staff in the mountains.

There is very little healthcare support in the mountains. An outbreak of Covid can be disastrous. Already, we have had a few staff members who have been infected. We have managed to isolate them. Any further infections can be terrible.

On the other hand, we are noticing that despite carrying Covid negative RT-PCR test results, more and more trekkers are coming on our treks Covid positive. Perhaps they are catching an infection on the way. 

Even though it was the hardest decision to take (with so many livelihoods dependent on treks), it’s best for all. 

We know that the best thing to do is avoid any sort of travel now. Which is why we are suspending all our treks until April 27th.

If you have an upcoming trek in the next two weeks, your Experience Coordinator will get in touch with you.

Meanwhile, don’t allow this news to dampen your spirits. You don’t have to call off your trek. We are monitoring the Covid situation closely, and will take a call on future treks as per the situation.

On a positive note, the vaccination drive is going strong in our country. We expect to tide over this crisis within a month and a half. So you can continue planning your treks from June onwards, to be on the safe side.

Stay cued to this page for more updates. And do keep a tab on your inbox if you have an upcoming trek.


April 12th, 11 am | COVID (RT-PCR) Test Mandatory for all Indiahikes Trekkers

Starting April 14th, all trekkers trekking with Indiahikes are expected to do COVID (RT-PCR) tests no less than 72 hours before their trek.

All forest departments across Uttarakhand are demanding test reports for trekking and camping permissions (irrespective of which state you are coming from). This applies to Sikkim and West Bengal as well.

With an increase in the number of COVID cases across the country during the second wave of Covid, we notice that more and more trekkers are testing positive (sometimes, much to their own surprise) before their trek. If they hadn’t done a test, it would have gone undetected. This could be a big risk for fellow trekkers and mountain folk.

Which is why we have made it mandatory for all trekkers to come with Covid tests.

In case you test positive, we will give you a Special Covid Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use over the next 1.5 years.

If you cannot do the test in your city, you can take the test at this testing center at Dehradun, which gives results in a day. The test at the center costs Rs 500.

There is a testing centre at Rishikesh as well, which our trekkers are recommending to others — Srl Ltd,  Gali No.-9 Veer Bhadra Road, Near AIIMS, Rishikesh-249201

Without the test, you will not get permissions to do the trek. We will send you a Trek Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use on any trek over the next one year.


March 31st, 1 pm | Uttarakhand makes Covid Report Mandatory for tourists from 12 states

Starting April 1st, the Uttarakhand State Government has made Covid RT-PCR test mandatory for visitors from 12 states. All visitors from these states are expected to carry test reports with them, taken no less than 72 hours before their travel.

The 12 states are as follows: .

  • Maharashtra
  • Kerala
  • Punjab
  • Karnataka
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Delhi
  • Rajasthan

This applies to all visitors coming by road, air and train to Uttarakhand. “District administration shall make arrangement for random COVID-19 testing/ checking at airport, railway station and at all border check posts,” says their latest press release, which you can find here.

This goes in line with our update from March 29th, making RT-PCR tests mandatory for trekkers from 8 states. All 8 states are included in this list.

Our process will remain the same. In case you test positive, we will give you a Special Covid Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use over the next 1.5 years.


March 29th, 4 pm | Indiahikes trekkers from 8 regions expected to bring mandatory RT-PCR Negative Reports from April 1st

Indiahikes has made it mandatory for trekkers from 8 regions to test themselves before their treks. All trekkers coming from these regions are expected to carry a Covid Negative Report (RT-PCR test), which is taken no less than 72 hours before their trek.

  • Maharashtra
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Gujarat
  • Delhi
  • Punjab
  • Chandigarh
  • Madhya Pradesh

Lots of trekkers have recently tested themselves before going to the slopes. Several of them have tested positive (much to their own surprise). If they hadn’t done a test, it would have gone undetected. This could be a big risk for fellow trekkers.

In case you test positive, we will give you a Special Covid Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use over the next 1.5 years.

If you cannot do the test, we will not be able to take you on the trek. We will send you a Trek Voucher with 100% of your trek fee, which you can use on any trek over the next one year.

If you have any doubts, drop in a comment on this page. We’ll get back to you.


March 26th, 12.30 pm | Karnataka Makes Negative RT-PCR Report Mandatory for all Interstate Travellers from April 1st

The Karnataka State Government has made a Covid Negative Report mandatory for all interstate travellers starting April 1st.

What does this mean for trekkers? 

This means that any trekkers returning to Karnataka after their treks will need to come with a Negative RT-PCR test.

From our experience, there are two ways to go about this.

1. Test yourself in your drop-off city: After your trek, you can do a test in Dehradun / Siliguri (our Experience Coordinators will recommend good testing centres to get this done). If this proves to be difficult, especially for those who do not have much time after the trek, then refer to Point 2.

2. Test yourself on arrival: The airport and railway stations will set up testing booths to collect swabs of travellers without Covid test reports. “The passenger’s swab will be collected on arrival. Once the RT-PCR test report is available, further action will be taken as per State protocol.” This is what the official report by the airport says.

It might mean waiting for a few hours to get the reports at the airport / station, but this is how it will pan out. It will be possible to enter the state, by doing a test on arrival.

The airport authorities of Karnataka are updating this page with their latest guidelines – https://www.bengaluruairport.com/travellers/passenger-services/faqs-at-blr.html#COVID

We are also in touch with our returning trekkers to see what they experience on arrival in Bangalore. So we will post continuous updates on this page as and when we get new information.

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy heads the digital content team at Indiahikes. She is also the face behind India's popular trekking video channel, Trek With Swathi. Unknown to many, Swathi also writes a weekly column at Indiahikes which has more than 100,000 followers. A TEDx speaker and a frequent guest at other events, Swathi is a much sought after resource for her expertise in digital content. Before joining Indiahikes, Swathi worked as a reporter and sub-editor at a daily newspaper. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates the mind more than anything else. Through trekking, Swathi hopes to bring about a profound impact in a person's mind, body and spirit. Read Swathi's columns. Watch Swathi's videos.