Himachal opens its borders; no pass or registration required to enter state

No inter-state public transport allowed yet

Himachal opens its borders; no pass or registration required to enter state

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur speaking in the Vidhan Sabha in Shimla. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 15

The Himachal government has thrown open its borders, as from now onwards no pass or registration would be required to enter the state.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here on Tuesday. However, in view of the sharp increase in Covid cases and related fatality, it has been decided not to resume inter-state public transport.

The Chief Minister on Wednesday said though the number of Covid cases had crossed 10,000, the decision was in line with the Centre’s directions for unlock and revival of economic activities. “Henceforth, anybody can enter the state freely without any restriction even though we are still not resuming inter-state public transport,” he said, sharing the decisions taken by his Cabinet on Tuesday night.

Thakur said tourists could now enter the state freely and they would not be required to carry a negative Covid report. The condition of five-day mandatory hotel booking had also been done away with, he said. He said this had been done so that the tourism industry, hit badly by the Covid pandemic, could revive. Till now, registration with the Deputy Commissioner concerned was mandatory to facilitate contact tracing in case anyone tested positive.

He insisted there was need to adopt greater precaution as the spread was much higher now. “We will also adopt new Covid guidelines where a hospitalised positive person will be discharged after seven days if he tests negative,” he said.

Thakur said there will be fewer quarantine centres and primarily in industrial areas where migrant workers came in large numbers. There will be no quarantine for anyone coming from outside the state.

The CM said though the hospitals were fully geared up to take care of Covid patients, the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic ones would be kept under home quarantine, and not hospitalised. “We have also decided to have makeshift hospitals at five places--Shimla, Tanda, Nalagarh, Una and Nahan--keeping in mind the rising number of Covid patients,” he said. He said initially these will be 50-bedded hospitals with all facilities for treating severe and moderate cases.

The Cabinet in its last meeting had decided to extend the system of mandatory registration on the Covid portal for all those keen to enter the state till September 15. With the cabinet decision today anybody, be it native of Himachal or tourists can enter the state freely.

The decision comes at a time when record eight deaths have already taken place today and the cases likely to cross 10,000. Though separate SOPs have been put in place for tourists but now with opening of borders, the state is likely to give free access to everyone.

Though public opinion was in favour of continuing the restrictions but keeping in view Centre’s policy of opening up, Himachal has been forced to thrown open its barriers for free movement of people and goods.

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