RT-PCR reports, hotel bookings: Check guidelines issued by Uttarakhand govt for tourists
After videos of tourists flouting Covid restrictions in Uttarakhand began to emerge, the state government has brought in some additional strict measures. The state government has now made it mandatory for tourists to carry a negative RT-PCR certificate and proof of hotel bookings made before their arrival in Uttarakhand. "A clear message has been given to the tourists that if they are coming to Uttarakhand, RT-PCR test, registration, and a prior hotel booking are mandatory for everyone," Uttarakhand police headquarters spokesperson Nilesh Anand Bharane told ANI.
Bharane appealed to the tourists coming to Uttarakhand to not restrict themselves to Mussoorie and Nainital as there are many more tourist places in the state that should be explored to avoid unnecessary crowding at one place. He cautioned tourists that they will not be allowed entry without registration, RT-PCR test and hotel bookings.
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami ordered authorities to cap hotel occupations at famous tourist spots of Nainital and Dehradun at 50 per cent. “We have issued an order regarding 50% occupancy capping in Nainital, Dehradun hotels. Challans are being issued to those who are not wearing masks. We are making all efforts to make people follow the Covid guidelines,” Dhami said.
Tourists have been arriving in large numbers over the past few days at Mussoorie, Nainital, Haridwar, Rishikesh. Mussoorie's circle officer Narendra Pant told news agency ANI that tourists are being stopped at Kuthal Gate to check if they have registered on the smart city portal and are carrying a negative Covid-19 test report with them. Recorded messages urging people to abide by Covid-19 preventive measures are being played in Mussoorie. This has caused the footfall to decline in comparison to last week, Pant added.
Authorities in Nainital have banned the entry of tourists to the city lake during the day over weekends.
Tourism dependent states have opened up for visitors and visuals of maskless crowds thronging tourist spots have been doing the rounds on social media.
Experts have been cautioning state governments against doing away with Covid-19 restrictions too soon. Union ministry of health and family welfare joint secretary, Luv Aggarwal, has warned against pandemic fatigue and cautioned that the coronavirus disease is still “among us” even though the restrictions have been lifted. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also urged countries to control social mixing as the Delta variant rages through the globe.