With the easing up of lockdown curbs triggering a huge influx of tourists into the state, Himachal Pradesh police on Monday cautioned tourists to observe covid guidelines strictly. Repeat offenders have been warned of eight-day imprisonment.
From Monday, the Himachal government opened up its borders for tourists without RT-PCR negative report resulting in a huge rush into the state particularly the capital Shimla. With the internationally-famed Shimla ridge and other popular destinations witnessing a huge congregation of tourists, the police issued an advisory asking the tourists to wear a face mask, maintain social distancing and follow Covid guidelines or face action
As per the advisory, first-time offenders will be fined Rs 500. Repeated offenders may be sentenced to eight days imprisonment or a fine of Rs 5000 or both.
“We welcome all the tourists entering the state and advise them to abide by the norms. However, the violators would attract a fine of Rs 500 at first instance and repeated offenders would be arrested and may be sentenced to eight days imprisonment or fine of Rs 5000 or both as per the provisions of the HP Police Act,’’ the advisory cautioned.
“We were anticipating tourist inflow after the restrictions were lifted and ten reserves have been deployed in the district (seven for corona curfew and three for internal mobilization). Besides, 200 police personnel on traffic duty as the flow of traffic has also increased. Police patrolling parties are on the ground to guide the tourists”, said SP Shimla Mohit Chawla.
Though the RT-PCR condition has been relaxed from today the state witnessed a huge spike in the inflow of tourists over the weekend. As many as 5000 vehicles entered Shimla through the Shoghi border in the last two days.
Hoteliers said that the occupancy on this weekend touched 30 percent which is further expected to go up to 60 percent in the coming week. About 25 percent of online bookings have poured in while 25 percent of tourists are walking in said officials.
After a long gap, The Mall and The ridge were abuzz with activity as tourists thronged these scenic places in big numbers.