Dejected, tourists in Himachal return home

New guidelines to come into force from today

Dejected, tourists in Himachal return home

Hoteliers want to conduct RT-PCR tests on incoming tourists.

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, June 13

After the Himachal Cabinet decided to do away with RT-PCR negative report mandatory for entry into Himachal, many tourists from Punjab lined up at state borders.

The tourists came in with an impression that the entry for the state has been thrown open by the state government.

However, most of them had to return dejected as the new rules would come into force after from June 14 after the district magistrates of border districts amended their orders.

A hotelier from Dharamsala said that there was sudden surge in inquiries from tourists from Punjab after the Cabinet decision regarding doing away with the RT-PCR negative test report. However, most of the tourists had to return back from the state borders.

Ashwani Bamba, president of the hotel and restaurant association of Dharamsala, said that most hoteliers, who had closed down their establishments, were looking to open up after Monday. They are calling back their staff that had been sent home. However, confusion still prevails over entry into state.

Though the Cabinet had decided to do away with the RT-PCR negative report the tourists coming in the state would still have to register at e-portal of the state government. “Till date the e-portal was seeking same formalities as RT-PCR negative report for entry into the state. We hope that easier entry protocol was adopted by the state government so that the tourists can come into the state”, he said.

Many hoteliers have also questioned the justification of mandatory registration at state borders that would still be required for entry into the state. The registration would not serve any purpose as it would in no way prevent any Covid positive patients from entering the state.

They argue that had the state government set up facilities for conducting RT-PCR tests for people coming inside the state at state borders or at tourist places it would have helped in checking spread of coronavirus and also sustained tourist inflow. The hoteliers said they were ready to bear the expenses of conducting RT-PCR tests on incoming tourists.

Almost all the hotels in Dharamsala have been lying closed since May 10 when lockdown was imposed in the state.

Registration at border questioned

  • Many hoteliers have also questioned the justification of mandatory registration at state borders that would still be required for entry into the state
  • The registration would not serve any purpose as it would not prevent any Covid-positive patient from entering the state

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