- Tourists rush to northern state as state announces negative RTPCR report no longer mandatory for outsiders
Shimla: If the photographs and videos of chock-a-block roads of Himachal Pradesh, doing rounds of social media, are anything to go by, it was as if people were just waiting for restrictions related to Covid-19 in the state to ease. Soon after the state government announced that a negative RTPCR report was not mandatory for those coming from outside, heavy traffic was witnessed on roads leading to state. Hundreds of cars were seen lined up as tourist movement shot up, resulting in a massive traffic jam.
As cases of Covid-19 dropped in Himachal Pradesh, the government announced lifting of several restrictions. This included removal of the rule for negative Covid-19 report for entry. However, incoming people will need e-pass. On Sunday, videos and photographs of roads chock-a-block with cars on the hills were shared on social media platforms.
Severe losses to travel industry due to pandemic
The travel and hospitality industry in Himachal Pradesh, a major contributor to its GDP, has suffered huge losses due to the pandemic and related restrictions. The relaxations have brought some hope for the struggling businesses as they expect to reduce losses in the remaining part of the tourist season that till last till mid-July.
As cases drop, Himachal Pradesh lifts several curbs
The northern state reported 370 fresh cases of infection of Covid-19 and 17 deaths on Sunday. It currently has 5,402 active cases.
With the drop in cases, the state government allowed intra-state transport to resume functioning with 50 per cent occupancy. Starting Monday (June 14), shops have been allowed to remain open from 9 am to 5 pm. Curfew will be remain in place from 5 pm to 5 am the next day. Section 144 has also been lifted from the state.
Offices having 75 or more employees will be allowed to open with 50 per cent staff strength. Medical, ayurvedic and dental colleges will be allowed to reopen on June 23, while pharmacy and nursing schools can reopen from June 28.
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