The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) is all set to reopen from November 1, almost 15 days ahead of its schedule, with COVID-19 restrictions. However, wildlife enthusiasts will not be able to enjoy the elephant safaris that have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the forest officials, tourists would be made to go through thermal scanning and those younger than 10 years and those above 65 years have been barred from entering the reserve. Also, jeep rides have been made expensive due to reduced seating capacity, officials said.
There will be a fine of Rs 500 for those not wearing a mask and tourists would have to carry a personal sanitizer.
The authorities have also ensured proper sanitization of the cottages where tourists would stay. Taking precautions against the possibility of COVID-19 transmitting from humans to animals, the DTR has prohibited tourists from stepping down from their vehicles while touring the reserve forest area.
Only four tourists will be allowed in every safari jeep other than the driver and forest guide. There would be limited food items in the canteen and different timetables would be given to tourists for entering the canteen to ensure social distancing.
Only two tourists per cottage would be permitted to stay overnight.
Field Director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Sanjay Pathak said, “The eco-tourism season will begin from November 1 and we have to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines laid by the central and state governments.
“Though we are not making COVID-19 negative report mandatory, any tourist exhibiting the symptoms during the inspection at the gate will not be allowed to enter. The new season has brought a ray of hope for the families of several guides and other support staff who are dependent upon the tourist footfall.”