China closes Mount Everest in bid to stop spread of coronavirus

China closes Mount Everest in bid to stop spread of coronavirus

  • Expedition organisers said many permits cancelled for spring climbing season
  • Climbers that still make the trip will be asked to submit a 14-day travel history  
  • This time last year saw a record 885 people summit the world’s highest peak
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

China has begun restricting access to Mount Everest in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Expedition organisers said that the Chinese authorities had cancelled hundreds of permits ahead of the spring climbing season on the world’s highest peak.

This time last year saw a record 885 people summit Everest including 644 adventurers from Nepal and 241 from the northern flank in Tibet. 

Expedition organisers said that the Chinese authorities had cancelled hundreds of permits ahead of the spring climbing season on the world’s highest peak in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus (stock image)

Access from Nepal currently remains open but climbers have been asked to submit a 14-day travel history as well as their medical reports.  

Lukas Furtenbach, from Austria-based Furtenbach Adventures, said that the Chinese authorities ‘have informed us that the mountain will close from the north side’.

Mr Furtenbach added that he will now be forced to make alternative arrangements for his 11 clients who were booked to make the journey. 

Another company, Alpenglow Expeditions, has cancelled its Everest plans altogether.

Speaking on behalf of the company, Adrian Ballinger said: ‘I am in agreement with China’s decision. It is responsible…

‘Climbing a mountain is not currently worth the transmission risk in the Base Camps, nor upon returning home.’ 

This time last year saw a record 885 people summit Everest including 644 adventurers from Nepal and 241 from the northern flank in Tibet (stock image)

A Nepali team, specialised in fixing the climbing route, is currently on its way to the base camp to begin fixing ropes on Everest.

Everest attracts hundreds of mountaineers from all over the world each spring, when a window of good weather opens up between late April and the end of May, prompting a rush for the summit.

The China Tibet Mountaineering Association, which issues permits for Everest, declined to comment.

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