The Sikkim government has allowed hotels, homestays and other tourism-related services to restart operations from October 10, and the Himalayan state has also decided to open its border with West Bengal for unrestricted movement of vehicles from October 1. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the hotels and the tourism sector is expected soon with bookings for hotels and home-stays to start from September 27.
The state officials said that while the odd-even road rationing rule for public vehicles will be lifted from October 1, it may continue for private vehicles. The odd-even rule, which was first implemented in Delhi to tackle air pollution by limiting the number of cars as per the last digit of their registration number, was also imposed in Sikkim to reduce movement amid the COVID-19 outbreak. However, a complete lockdown will be imposed in the Gangtok Municipal Corporation area from 21 to 27 September as part of ‘special measures’ to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Vehicles will not be allowed to ply except those authorised or engaged in essential services, as per a state Home Department order. State government offices will operate with 30 per cent staff, and all shops, except those selling essential items, will remain closed.