A few months ago, the entire world was brought to its knees by a virus that can't even be seen with our naked eye. For most of us, our lives changed tremendously.

In a moment, all our travel and trekking plans were put to a standstill.

Now with Unlock 4.0, things are finally coming back to normal. But even now, there are a lot of uncertainties about travelling to the hills and almost everyone has a different story. So after a lot of research, here is what I have to say.


Ahead of world tourism day, Uttarakhand has lifted all travel restrictions and tourists will no longer need to carry a covid19 negative report which was mandatory earlier. All tourists are still required to have an e-pass, which is mandatory when travelling to Uttarakhand. You can easily register for the pass on http://dsclservices.org.in/apply.php.

You will only be permitted at the state border upon submitting the application number which will be generated instantly after registration. However, the number of positive cases is rising rapidly in the state and therefore the rules are subject to changes.

To be safe, it is advised to have at least 2 days of stay plan. Also, a temperature check may be conducted on the border while entering the state. 

Inter-state public transport is yet not available. You may still be asked for a negative report at hotels and other places. 

Sounds harsh?

We have to understand that most places far off in the hills do not have adequate medical facilities and therefore some places might have precautionary checks. 

For trekking, some local companies are back in business as things are getting normal. For the time being, forget about going to treks in large groups. Trekking companies like India Hikes have restarted treks with a much smaller group size at certain locations.

Himachal Pradesh

As of 16th September, the Himachal Pradesh government has removed all restrictions on interstate travel. Public transport will remain shut for the time unknown.

In the words of the chief minister “Henceforth, anybody can enter the state freely without any restriction even though we are still not resuming inter-state public transport,”. The requirement to carry a negative report has also been scrapped. The government is pushing hard to resume all tourism activities in the state since it has been badly affected by the pandemic. However, hotels and other places might still ask for a negative report if you are coming from a red zone area. That will be however a completely personal business choice.

  • Spiti Valley remains closed for the year 2020. 
  • Kinnuar has also suspended all tourist activities till 1st November. 

Trekking in the new normal

Even though we had to cancel our much-anticipated plans, it is undeniable that the mountains got a much needed holiday. The forest fires in Uttarakhand were the lowest in the entire decade. This year marked the least landslides in recent years. Maybe, this is, after all, a new beginning and that's why we the enthusiastic adventurers have some major responsibilities to the mountains and the local communities.

  1. Coronavirus is still prevalent and unfortunately, the numbers are only rising. 

No restrictions don’t mean we won't fall sick. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Take all necessary precautions like avoid any unnecessary public contact, wash your hands as frequently as you can and never forget to put on the mask. 

  1. Check the health status of the entire group.

Before planning a trek, make sure you know the health status of everyone in your group. Ensure everyone is checked and no has even the minute symptoms of the virus.

  1. Covid-19 Negative report 

Carry a COVID-19 negative report along with you. Firstly, because it will make sure you are safe and secondly, you won’t be allowed in the state (Uttarakhand) without one. Ensure that everyone else in your group adheres to safety policies. 

  1. TREKKING groups 

Trek in small private groups. It is the new normal. Take all necessary precautions possible. Overreacting might just keep you safe. 

  1. Don’t rent trekking equipment. Avoid renting any trekking equipment like tents and sleeping bags. Using a tent or a sleeping bag used by another person is extremely unsafe and unhygienic. 
  2. Not that we have to mention it, but use a reusable mask. 

Use only reusable cotton masks. We have enough plastic already and don't want those non-biodegradable masks on the list.

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