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Uttarakhand Tightens Covid Norms for Tourists, Negative Test Report Must for Entry

Union Health Ministry briefing with a grab of crowds at Kempty Falls in Uttarakhand

Union Health Ministry briefing with a grab of crowds at Kempty Falls in Uttarakhand

Police officials in Nainital said entry of tourists to the lake city during daytime on weekends has been banned.

The Uttarakhand government has ordered visitors at all tourist spots in the state to strictly adhere to Covid protocol in view of the threat of spread of the infection due to growing crowd of tourists at popular destinations like Mussoorie and Nainital. On arrival in the state, tourists now have to produce a negative Covid test report not older than 72 hours.

District magistrates of Dehradun, Nainital and other districts have issued orders to officials to ensure that the Covid norms are strictly followed by all tourists.

Tourists are arriving in large numbers over the past few days at major tourists spots like Mussoorie, Kempty Fall, Nainital, Haridwar and Rishikesh. Several videos have gone viral in which tourists are seen violating Covid norms by not wearing masks and refusing to maintain social distancing.

“We have come to know through videos on the social media that people are not following Covid appropriate behaviour. They are neither wearing masks nor are they maintaining any social distancing. This is a matter of concern," Dehradun DM Ashish Shrivastava said.

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Mussoorie’s Circle Officer Narendra Pant said tourists coming to Mussoorie are being stopped at Kuthal Gate on the way to check if they are registered on the smart city portal and have a negative Covid test report with them. Only those who have the documents are being allowed to proceed to Mussoorie and the rest are being returned, he said.

Recorded messages asking people to adopt Covid appropriate behaviour are being played in Mussoorie all day, Pant said. People violating the norms are also being fined, he added. Additional deployment of police personnel has also been made to ensure that the SOPs are not flouted by people, he said. There has been a decline of 50 per cent in tourist inflow due to the restrictions in Mussoorie this weekend in comparison to the last, he said.

After videos of hundreds of tourists seen together in Kempty Fall without wearing masks went viral, the number of tourists bathing at a time in the fall has been limited to 50. No one can stay in the fall for more than 30 minutes. The restrictions were imposed on Thursday by Tehri District Magistrate Iva Ashish Shrivastava.

Police officials in Nainital said entry of tourists to the lake city during daytime on weekends has been banned. However, there is no restriction on tourists staying in hotels, they said.

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first published:July 10, 2021, 21:37 IST