Thousands of tourists are visiting Himachal Pradesh’s Manali to avoid the heatwave in the plains, as the daily coronavirus cases dip in the country which just last month was battling an unprecedented Covid second wave. The Himachal Pradesh government had announced last month about the easing of Covid-19 restrictions following which, tourists started to head to higher altitudes, especially to Shimla, Kullu-Manali, and Dharamsala.
Following the tourist migration, images of heavily crowded streets in Manali during the weekend started surfacing on the internet. Shimla hotel and restaurant association president Sanjay Sood told PTI that the withdrawal of the condition of negative RTPCR report and e-Covid pass to enter the state gave a boost to tourist footfall. Mohinder Seth, president of Tourism Industry Stakeholder Association told PTI, “The occupancy in the hotels remains between 60 and 90 percent during weekends, while on other days it remains around 40-45 percent."
As images of the heavily crowded streets in Manali popped up on social media, some users expressed concern and disappointment over social distancing and safety, while some users took a jibe sharing memes and jokes on them.
Pics from #Manali, where beds are running out in hotels. If we go on like this, soon there will be another episode of “No beds in Hospital" will hit the reality soon!I know it’s hard not to go out and all, but people this pandemic is a real nightmare. Please be responsible ♀️ pic.twitter.com/174HoHG48F
— (@suchisoundlover) July 4, 2021
“Sadistic pleasures, muted Governance; these days at Manali."You will foot the bills running into lakhs and some of us despite all this shall beg for death because of their momentary enjoyment!#3rdWave #Manali #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/tcexVcDvMW— KUMAR. K (@KkHimalaya) July 5, 2021
— Naam me kya rakha h (@Kuch_nahi_rakha) July 4, 2021
— Vikas Shrivastava (@Viklicks0007) July 5, 2021
Last month, videos of long serpentine queues of vehicles went viral on social media within hours of the opening of the border for tourists. Cops stopped vehicles to examine the e-pass of travellers arriving from other states, which caused the long queues.