Last week, all hoteliers and businessmen associated with the tourism industry in the Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh announced that they will close their tourism activities for this year. No tourists will be allowed to travel to the valley. This decision was taken despite the State Government’s decision to open tourism to everyone.
Last week, as per the Unlock 4.0 initiative, Himachal Pradesh relaxed the lockdown restrictions for the incoming tourists. Under the new norm, the tourists will not be required to present a COVID negative medical report and also tourists will not have to register online and acquire an E-Pass before traveling to Himachal Pradesh.
However, in some places in Himachal Pradesh, there are many people who are against this decision to allow tourists without the Medical report. People fear the rise in the number of cases in their villages and the increased chance of the community spread. According to the local authorities of Spiti, the limited medical facilities and the high altitude sickness will make the lives of the local people more difficult if they contract the infection.
After Spiti’s decision, the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh also decided that the tourism businesses will be closed for the tourists until November 1. According to the official announcement made by the Kinnaur Hotel Association, the decision was taken after considering the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
According to the official statement by Kinnaur Hotel Association, most of the hotels and homestays are located close to the Apple orchards and other fields of dry fruits and farm products. Considering that, the upcoming harvest season will make the local villages more vulnerable to the tourists carrying an infection. It is possible that their farm businesses will also get affected if they contract the virus. Until now, there are currently 38 active cases of COVID in the Kinnaur District.
According to the district officials, no one should be found going against this decision. Strict action will be taken against the individual who will choose to invite tourists into their homestays or hotels.
The following YouTube video from the channel ‘I Say Organic Office’ gives a tour into an Apple Orchard in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.