The West Bengal government has made it mandatory for tourists entering northern districts of Dooars and Darjeeling to carry COVID-19 negative test reports. As the pandemic has ravaged the entire tourism industry, several states in the country are gradually allowing tourists after a decline in Covid-19 cases. The West Bengal government has issued fresh guidelines for tourists visiting the state.
Earlier, it was mandatory to carry Covid-19 negative test report for the tourists visiting Digha, the sleepy town known for its picturesque beaches. Now the government has made it mandatory for the travellers visiting north Bengal tourist destinations of Dooars and Darjeeling, to carry a negative test report. Similarly those planning to travel Ayodhya hills in Purulia district will have to carry a negative test report.
The district administration of Jalpaiguri has issued clear instructions that while visiting Dooars, it is mandatory for tourists to furnish a negative RT-PCR test report. The test must be done 48 hours before the trip. However, people who got two doses of vaccine can be exempted.
This order has spelled trouble for the tourism business in the aforementioned locations. Local businesses are claiming that this order will diminish the inflow of tourists. This will, in turn, adversely affect the local economy. Most of the time, tourists plan Darjeeling-Dooars trip together. In such cases, it will be very difficult for them to show the RT-PCR report 48 hours before the trip. An appeal has been made for slight leniency in the order by the local businessmen.
Tourists have begun flocking to places such as Shantiniketan, Digha and Tarapith, which have become immensely crowded, leading authorities to tighten the grip. Fearing a rapid rise in the spread of Covid-19, the Birbhum district administration has also made the Covid Test report mandatory for tourists.