Ever since the Uttarakhand government removed the requirement for a COVID negative certificate amongst incoming tourists, trekkers have been asking us whether they must do a test.
Here is our advice.
We strongly recommend that trekkers do a COVID test before they travel to Uttarakhand.
We recommend that trekkers do an RT-PCR test not less than 96 hours before their travel and carry COVID negative certificates on their travel.
Doing a test strongly reduces the probability of trekkers coming to the mountains as asymptomatic carriers. It makes it a lot safer for all trekkers in the team.
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.
While we have not made the test mandatory, we would highly encourage all trekkers to do the test.
What happens if you don’t do a COVID test?
- Those who do not come with the test are mandatorily required by the state government to do a rapid antigen test in the Dehradun airport.
- The test costs Rs 800
- They are expected to wait 20-30 minutes until they get the results.
- If the test report comes negative, they are free to travel within Uttarakhand
- If the test report comes positive, however, they have to immediately quarantine themselves in the Raipur COVID centre, Dehradun, for 14 days.
What is the official process at the Dehradun Airport
Report sent in by Indiahikes Trek Leader Dhaval Jajal on September 29, 2020
What is happening at checkposts across the state of Uttarakhand
As reported by Dhaval Jajal, Indiahikes Trek Leader on September 30, 2020
Advice for trekkers travelling to Uttarakhand from Indiahikes Trek Leader Vivek Saini
Our expectations from trekkers who come without an RT-PCR test:
We understand that getting an RT-PCR test from your city might not be easy. Which is why we have not made it mandatory for all trekkers.
But here are our safety guidelines for those without a test:
- Anyone coming without an RT-PCR COVID test is expected to take a tent to themselves. It’s not wise for those who haven’t tested themselves staying at close quarters for over 8-9 with other trekkers. If you’re a solo trekker and have to take a single stay (room + tent), there will be a charge of Rs 2,200 per tent for the entire duration of the trek.
- If a trekker without a COVID negative certificate (RT-PCR test) is showing any symptoms of COVID on the trek (heavy cough, breathing difficulty, high temperature) on the trek, they will be evacuated immediately from the slope.
Note: Please note that the altitude and cold weather causes similar symptoms on treks. Our Trek Leaders are trained to provide medical attention to this immediately. There’s a much higher reassurance amongst those who have a COVID negative certificate that these symptoms can be attributed to the temperature and altitude.
We will be extra cautious when it comes to trekkers who are coming to the slopes without an RT-PCR test. And we’d like trekkers to understand that.
If you have any questions, drop in a comment and we’ll help you out.