Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has asked hotels to observe COVID-19 safety protocols and also warned that restrictions can be reimposed if tourists do not follow protocols.
"We are also a bit anxious as the tourist influx increased in the State. We welcome tourists but I urge them to follow COVID norms. They should follow social distancing and wear a mask. We have also directed hotels to follow SOP strictly," Thakur told news agency ANI.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Anil Kumar Khachi said the State administration has unilaterally told all District Collectors to enforce COVID appropriate behaviour and guidelines strictly after taking service providers and stakeholders into confidence.
Union Health Ministry referred to the massive crowd in hill stations and said the violations of COVID-appropriate behaviour can nullify the gains so far. Earlier this week, Manali made it to the trending list of Twitter along with third COVID-19 wave. Tourists thronged Himachal Pradesh's Manali to escape the heatwave in plains and hotel occupancy increased massively in the state.
Massive footfalls in the region raised alarm as experts predicted a likely third phase of the deadly pandemic in August. "Going by the current data, India could experience cases around 10,000 somewhere around the second week of July. However, the cases could start rising by the second fortnight of August," a report by SBI Research read.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with agency inputs
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