With ‘COVID-19 being around’ is the new normal, our lives have started resuming. Throughout the nation, Offices, Malls, gymnasiums, restaurants, and other places of public gathering have started functioning not fully but to some extent.
In the same wake of things becoming normal and accepting that it will continue in the same way for some months. The government of Uttarakhand and Himachal has opened its doors to its visitors but with some checkpoints. And of course, the Arogya Setu app downloaded on your phone.
If you are visiting Uttarakhand, a negative Covid-19 report from an ICMR approved lab is mandatory to enter the state. Or if you don’t have it, a mandatory institutional quarantine for 7 days at the quarantine centres. Also, an e-pass is mandatory, to everyone entering Uttrakhand, your reasons for the visit may differ. People entering Uttarakhand as a tourist or as a migrant worker, E-pass is compulsory.
Here is the link to register for generating an e-pass: Smart City Dehradun.
The hill-stations like Nainital, Munsiyari, and Mussoorie have their own charm and most of the tourists choose them to escape the scorching summer of the plains. But do make advance bookings for your stay as many places are still hesitant to outsiders and are also short of staff to resume their services.
The Char Dham yatra to Kedarnath and Badrinath was initially opened for the visitors within the state only. But since 27th July, the state has removed these restrictions as well and have opened the places for everyone but with a limited number of visitors.
Prior registration is mandatory to visit the temples. You can visit Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board and proceed for your registration for the Chardham Yatra.
The UNESCO recognised site Valley of Flowers is also among the main attractions of Uttarakhand.
The route to the valley opens up for visitors from 1st June to 31st October but this year, it is the first time the valley wasn’t opened for the visitors at the scheduled time.
But now the route is open and the place is accessible to the visitors. Do make prior reservations for your stay and other arrangements to avoid last-minute inconvenience, as most of the places are short of staff.
The Himachal government also has similar guidelines. The visitors coming from outside the state need to register not before 48 hours of their arrival on the HP government E-paas portal. A negative RT-PCR report of Covid-19 from an ICMR laboratory is mandatory, along with a prior booking at a hotel of a minimum of 5 days.
In accordance to a report published in Outlook India, “As of now, we have decided to wait till mid-September or till a vaccine is launched. The situation is still volatile. No one is willing to take a risk of venturing out at a time when Covid-19 cases are rising each day," says Sanjay Sood, President Shimla Hotels and Restaurants Association.
On one hand, the hoteliers have also asked the rules to be relaxed to two or three days as many people from nearby cities of Delhi and Chandigarh visit for a weekend getaway from their schedule. While some gram panchayats have opposed the entry of outside visitors in the wake of the spreading infection.
“The government can’t force the hoteliers to reopen. It’s up to them to take a call as it’s their private business. We can only facilitate things,” Yunus, Director of Tourism, Himachal, told Outlook India.
So be it Uttarakhand or Himachal, tourism is the core part of the economy and hence tourism has to be resumed. But some restrictions are there.
Other norms like carrying your identity-proofs and address-proofs along with you, maintain social distance, and wearing masks while in public places are inevitable.