Covid19: 8,000 tourists headed to Nainital and Mussoorie sent back by Uttarakhand Police
Dehradun/IBNS: The Uttarakhand Police has sent back at least 8,000 tourists, who were heading to Nainital and Mussoorie over the weekend, in order to prevent overcrowding during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, according to media reports.
Police have also set up border checkposts to regulate the flow of tourists to popular tourist destinations in the state.
"After videos went viral of huge crowds bathing in Kempty falls, the Uttarakhand government has taken steps to control the number of tourists. People have been given notices to carry negative RT-PCR reports and register on the online portal," said Uttarakhand Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Nilesh Anand Bharane, Hindustan Times quoted.
Since the district magistrates have been given the power to take necessary steps to control tourist flow in hill stations over the weekend, Bharane said the DMs will be held responsible if the Covid situation in hill stations worsened.
"If the situation worsens in the tourist places of Uttarakhand now, then the District Magistrate will be responsible. They have been authorized to take the decisions regarding the crowds on weekends," the guidelines released by the state government said.
He urged the people to visit other tourist destinations like Ranikhet, Bhimtal and Lansdowne and not crowd in one or two hill stations.
The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were issued by Uttarakhand chief secretary Sukhbir Singh Sandhu on Monday.
The Uttarakhand government said in its order strict action will be taken against those violating Covid norms.
As per the SOPs, all visitors from outside the state will be allowed entry only with a negative report of RT-PCR, True Net, CBNET, or Rapid Antigen Test of a maximum period of 72 hours.
The Uttarakhand government has extended the Covid curfew in the state till July 20 and, currently, up to 50 people are allowed in weddings and funerals.
Currently, Uttarakhand has 932 active Covid-19 cases.