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Covid-19 Restrictions Relaxed, Tourists Flock to Himachal Pradesh

A deserted road in Shimla. (PTI)

A deserted road in Shimla. (PTI)

Around 18,000 people have applied for e-passes to enter Himachal Pradesh in the last two days

It’s good news for the tourism industry of the hill state of Himachal Pradesh as tourist influx has increased in the state over the last two days, after a long dry spell caused by Covid-19 restrictions.

After the Covid-related curfews in the state were relaxed including the dropping of mandatory RT-PCR tests, tourist inflow to the state has increased by thousands. Over the last two days, around 17 thousand 836 people have applied for entry to the state, out of which 10 thousand have already reached and more than 3131 applications are yet to be approved. Some applications have been rejected and checking for the high temperature at border checkpoints is still on.

Around 10,345 people had applied to visit Himachal Pradesh, out of which 5717 had already come to the state. The applications of around 1799 are still pending. Before that, on Tuesday, 7591 applied, of which over 4000 had already arrived.

The tourist influx to the state is largely due to the heatwave in the plains. The increasing temperature drives people to seek out cooler climates in places such as Manali, Shimla and Chamba among others.

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This turn of events is surely good news for the local businessmen in the state who mainly depend upon the tourism sector for their survival.

Buses in the state are running at 50 percent capacity and markets are being kept open till 5 pm.

To note, there has been a significant reduction in the number of Covid-19 cases in the state, with only 210 fresh cases being registered in 24 hours on Wednesday.

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first published:June 17, 2021, 18:33 IST