Shimla, July 3
Himachal Pradesh 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, about three-and-a-half-months after a ban was imposed to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In an order issued by the chief secretary-cum-chairperson of state executive committee (SEC), Anil Kumar Khachi, on Thursday, the state government relaxed the ban as part of the phased reopening from the coronavirus-induced lockdown -- 'Unlock-II'.
"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," the order stated.
All inter-state movement will be monitored through registration in the COVID e-pass software ("http://covid19epass.hp.gov.in"covid19epass.hp.gov.in).
"The people coming to Himachal Pradesh from other states shall strictly adhere to the prevailing guidelines/standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the health and revenue departments of the state," the order stated.
The order, however, does not mention the exact date from which tourists may visit the state.
The hilly state barred entry of tourists in March to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Further, inter-state bus service will remain suspended till further orders.
The medical colleges are allowed to open in the state for final-year students to strengthen the health system in coming days along with the health training institutions from July 15 subject to SOPs issued by the department of health and family welfare, the order stated.
Chief MinsterJai Ram Thakur said his government would issue Standard Operating Procedure for tourists on Monday.
“We are studying SOPs of other states---Goa, Kerala and Uttarakhand. We will issue SOPs for tourists so economic activities can start again. Tourism has been most affected,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“We expect tourists to follow SOPs. They should follow social distancing, and wear masks,” he said.
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