The state government of Sikkim has announced the reopening of Tourism activities and businesses starting from 10th October. The tourists are still banned from entering the borders of Sikkim, but this may change in the coming days.
The popular tourist destinations such as Lachung and Yuksom in North and West Sikkim respectively are still closed. According to the government, tourism sites will be reopening in various phases. The first phase of reopening will allow only the domestic tourists to enter Sikkim as well as the foreigners who are currently residing in India.
All foreigners will valid papers will be allowed. Also, tourists will have to register themselves online before travelling and the COVID-19 negative medical report will be required to be presented before entering the borders. The medical report will have to be valid for at least 72 hours before reaching Sikkim.
The hotels and accommodations will be allowed only if they register themselves with the tourism department. No hotel will be allowed to operate unless they are authorized by the tourism department of Sikkim. This is to help track the movement of the tourists within the state of Sikkim.
The state of Sikkim has been closed since March 5th and it was one of the first states to respond quickly to the COVID announcement. All inter-state travel was also stopped since March. Inter-state travel has now started on 1st October.
Last year, the total number of domestic tourists visiting Sikkim was up to 1.4 million. After the opening of the borders, the much-needed boost to tourism will be felt by all the businesses in Sikkim.
There are many locals who are totally dependent on the tourism businesses for their sustenance.