Nepal has reopened access to the Himalayan mountains including Mount Everest in an effort to boost the tourism-dependent economy, despite soaring COVID-19 numbers.
Authorities banned all climbing and trekking in March as the coronavirus began to spread, but despite infection rates remaining high, the government has decided to open its borders to tourists once again.
Tourism department official Mira Acharya said authorities will begin to issue climbing permits for the autumn season.
"Climbers must follow health protocols issued by the government," Acharya said in a statement.
The absence of climbing in the popular April-May season cost Nepal millions of dollars in losses with some 200,000 sherpas, guides and porters were hit hard.
The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 in Nepal has risen from around 70 per day in July to more than 600 per day in August.
To date, the country has had more than 27,000 confirmed cases and 107 deaths resulting from the pandemic.