These days we have been packed in our homes and unable to go out anywhere. This pandemic has tormented many people locking them in their houses, Sitting daily has made their body over rested and mind weary, the thoughts of going out and enjoying it more like a forbidden fruit right now quite unavailable and unrealistic and during this time of unlock2.0 after months of quarantine is seen as quite an opportunity for people as the adventurer inside wants to explore even more than ever. Now under the list of several relaxations being announced for the tourism industry as a part of Unlock 2.0, states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and Goa have allowed the entry of tourists as the ban on the interstate and intrastate movement has been removed in the country with effect from July 1. This news has come as a relief for many people looking for an escape after months of lockdown.
People are prone to moving and visiting new places, exploring new destinations, camping and much more but all of this has stagnated and India’s tourism industry has hit an all-time low with many if the state’s economy depending on the same going down. People are growing much more restless with this new opportunity but you need to keep certain things in mind before making a decision to go out. During this spread of COVID-19 certain rules and practices needs to keep in mind before making a decision, social distancing being the most common has become a norm everywhere and when you decide your destination you need to decide accordingly to avoid crowded and compacted spaces to protect yourself and people around you and even if you decide on remote location it may prove otherwise due to restrictions on entry imposed by the local people living there for their own safety. Although the government has allowed inter-state movement but will be monitored through registration in the COVID-19 e-pass software (covid19epass.hp.gov.in) and the tourists coming from other states are strictly instructed to adhere to the protocols issued by the state government. But, the inter-state bus travel will remain suspended until further orders, so you need to do your research properly before deciding on something in haste and calling your friends as well as spending your hard-earned money.
Himachal Pradesh is one of the states that has allowed the entry of tourists, though no date has been announced yet. But here are a few guidelines Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that you need of the following if you visit Himachal Pradesh.
1. You need to make sure that the hotels and homestays that you book are not in containment zones.
2. You would have to present your COVID-19 test results
3. Upon entering the border checkposts, you would have to present all the medical reports to be checked by the concerned officials who can allow you to enter the state.
3. On arriving at your bookings Hotels and homestays will ask guests for negative COVID-19 test certificates that should be done at ICMR accredited labs not earlier than 72 hours before their arrival.
If the conditions are satisfied guests arriving from interstate locations will need not to go through the mandatory quarantine procedure.
4. Lastly, you would have to plan your stay and travel accordingly as you have to make a prior hotel booking and all the hotels and the homestays have been instructed to take bookings for at least 5 days.
All inter-state movement will be monitored through registration in the COVID e-pass software (“http://covid19epass.hp.gov.in”covid19epass.hp.gov.In)
Goa heavily depends upon tourism for running its economy and this contagious viral spread has hit it hard and after this relaxation, it has set to open around 250 hotels to domestic tourists. As on his Twitter handle Chief Minister Pramod Sawant wrote, “Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the state and is the backbone of our economy. In this unlock phase, we are kickstarting our economy again by keeping the highest health safety norms in place in view of #COVID19.”
The certain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for visiting Goa according to tourism Director of Goa, Menino D’sSouza.
1. Prior bookings of the hotels will be checked at entry points before allowed to enter the state.
2. Negative COVID-19 test certificates that should be done at ICMR accredited labs not earlier than 72 hours before their arrival. In the case of a tourist not having the test report, he/she will be asked to go for a test and will be observed in isolation until then.
3. All tourists will undergo a basic screening through a thermal gun.
In Uttrakhand, the process is quite similar to the other states allowing travel, all travelers coming will have to register themselves on the Dehradun Smart City website and provide their contact details and other particulars such as where they are traveling from and where they will be staying while in the state. They can also upload any medical documentation, including any COVID-19 test results. Travelers will be expected to produce hard copies of this medical information when they arrive in the state. All travelers are expected to also have the Arogya Setu app downloaded on their phones.
Chardham Yatra for Uttrakhand residents has begun from July onwards with around 422 pilgrims applying for e-passes on the Uttarakhand Devasthanam Board website.
Prior registration has been made mandatory for the pilgrims visiting the shrines by the website and pilgrims are advised to download the Yatra e-pass after a successful registration. The e-pass then has to be produced before the authorities.
The pilgrims are not allowed to touch the idols at the temples. Even the temple bells have been covered and there will be no prasad distribution.
However, according to the recently issued guidelines, pilgrims from other states are not allowed to visit the temples, observing the Covid-19 guidelines for travel in the state.
Madhya Pradesh had reopened its tourism sector in the first phase of unlocking itself. The state forest department had issued a circular regarding notifications of the reopening of the national parks from June 15. Hotels, resorts, and many private hotels were permitted to resume their activities in June itself. Since Madhya Pradesh is surrounded by five states, it is looking forward to hosting people from nearby states initially. The state plans to begin with small, weekend, or 4-5 day tours.
States are planning to open up finally in this second phase of unlocking to resume their economy but given the growing rise in the coronavirus cases in the country it is not advisable to make a trip right now. This time may be difficult but the safety of your and the people dear to you is much more concerned and important.
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