Himachal Pradesh's Spiti valley will remain closed for visitors for five more months till March 31, 2021 on fears of spike in COVID-19 cases in the valley. This step will lead to losses amounting to crores of rupees.
Spiti Tourism Society notice reads, "It is with regret that we inform all travelers that Spiti valley is closed for all kinds of tourism activities till March 31, 2021. Tourism in the valley will resume from April 1. The decision has been taken unanimously after multiple meetings with the native population and stakeholders, including hoteliers, homestay owners, guide and travel associates to keep Spiti residents and tourists safe."
With the surge in coronavirus cases and reports of community transmission in the valley, a collective decision was taken to close down the valley for tourists.
COVID-19 situation becomes even more severe in the valley due to its high altitude and extreme cold weather. Underdeveloped infrastructure and limited medical services are also the bigger challenges in Spiti's fight against COVID-19.
Many panchayats in the Lahaul valley have also refused to host tourists for two weeks and are likely to extend this ban if coronavirus cases continue to rise. Lahaul-Spiti district has 608 positive cases.