On the lines of Goa, Himachal Pradesh too has decided to restart tourism. The Himachal Pradesh government has allowed entry of tourists with conditions such as a test report showing negative for COVID-19 and a prior hotel booking of at least five days. The state barred entry of tourists in March to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The state tourism department will soon issue standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the functioning of the tourism industry. All inter-state movement will be monitored through registration in the COVID e-pass software.
A government order said the ban has been relaxed as part of the phased reopening from the coronavirus-induced lockdown — ‘Unlock 2’. However, the order stated that “tourists with valid booking, preferably for durations not less than five days and having been tested for COVID-19 by an ICMR-accredited laboratory not earlier than 72 hours at the time of entry may also be exempted from the requirement of quarantine”.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that on the basis of the guidelines from Ministry of Home Affairs, there will not be any restrictions on movements of people.
“We have taken up the matter to MHA that registrations would be mandatory and we would keep a record if someone is tested positive and this record will help in contact tracing. As far as tourism is concerned, the tourists will have to come minimum for five to seven days and SOPs would be issued by Monday,” Thakur said.
“We have also made negative COVID-19 test mandatory for tourists, there are two points on it we would see it. We are also studying the other states who have started it. In two-three days time, by Monday, SOPs would be finalised. Tourism is likely to begin in a week’s time. This is peak time of tourism in the state. We are trying this for revival of economy in the region as tourism has ben shut for long here,” added Thakur.