Founder of Alpenglow Expeditions Adrian Ballinger announced via Instagram that coronavirus fears led Chinese officials to close northern access to Mt Everest via Tibet for the spring climbing season. The spring season is March-May due to better weather conditions on the Himalayan mountain. Ballinger, an experienced climber, stated:
If you can imagine you are bringing 500 to 1000 people together at base camp, from 20-50 different countries-there’s a good chance someone will bring Coronavirus with them to base camp. Then if you can imagine an upper respiratory illness combined with high altitude which affects the respiratory system, this is an extremely dangerous combination.”
Expeditions may still climb the south side of Mt. Everest via Nepal however Nepal’s Department of Immigration has placed a temporary suspension on the visa-on-arrival. The restriction already applies to visitors from China, Italy, Korea, Japan and Iran and will apply to visitors from Germany, Spain and France on March 13. Visitors from these countries my apply for visas, prior to their travel, from the Nepalese mission abroad. Citizens from these countries must provide a health certificate clearing them from COVID-19 infection in addition to their visa applications.
Read more at Fox News.