Unlock 2.0 has witnessed several states and cities reopening after a long time. Uttarakhand has removed the travel restrictions and reopened the state for tourism purposes including interstate travel with certain conditions. Thus, before heading out for a short break in the mountains, or book a long stay, and work from home in the hills, one needs to know certain things about the guidelines issued by the authorities.
The government of Uttarakhand has opened borders for inter-state and inter-district tourism activities for now. So tourists visiting Uttarakhand from other states will now be able to explore the state freely without going under institutional quarantine if they carry their COVID-19 negative test result.
Uttarakhand Tourism Secretary, Dilip Jawalkar informed that all tourists coming from other states of the country will have to upload the report related to COVID-19 test on the portal of Smart City Dehradun at the time of registration and also they must necessarily do this while travelling in the state and have to take the report along with them. All district authorities will be verifying the medical reports during the time of entry at all border check posts.
He further informed that tourists without the COVID-19 test will be able to enter the state in the event of a minimum seven-day hotel booking and stay. However, they have to stay put in the hotel for seven days and only then they will be able to visit any place in the state. So the condition is a mandatory COVID-19 negative test result or a seven days hotel booking with quarantine.
Hotels and Homestays are also open for business, but only in those areas that are not in the state’s containment zones. They will also have to ensure that guests booking less than seven days have to bring the RT-PCR test from ICMR authorised laboratory in the last 72 hours and their COVID-19 test is found to be negative. Hotel bars still have to remain closed, but guests can order drinks from the room service menu.
Mussoorie, being one the most-visited and famous hill stations in Uttarakhand, has also come up with some precautionary measures. Tourists, who wish to visit Mussoorie will get entry only after showing the proof of booking for seven days under Unlock 2.0. However, Uttarakhand residents can roam around without any restrictions. Also, no entry after 10 pm and before 7 am would be allowed in Mussoorie.
The Uttarakhand government has also commenced the Chardham Yatra 2020 from July 1. For now, the pilgrimage will be allowed only for the residents of the state. Here too, only those residents, who are neither living in containment zones nor quarantine centres, will be allowed to go on the pilgrimage. Those wishing to undertake the pilgrimage will have to apply for an e-pass on the Uttarakhand Devasthanam Board website and which will be valid only for ‘darshan’ at the temple during the visit to the shrine.
Giving details about the guidelines on weddings in the state, Jawalkar said, “Guests coming from Uttarakhand and other states to attend the wedding ceremony will not have to be quarantined although it will be conditioned that apart from the place of marriage will not be able to visit places. All of them have to sign and submit a self-declaration form. The hotel or the banquet hall organising the wedding ceremony will inform the local administration in this regard and will ensure thermal screening and social distancing. Also, they have to compulsorily create a database of their employees and visitors.”
Other than tourists, people travelling on business essential to the state, such as construction and other public works projects, as well as those employed by businesses based in Uttarakhand, will be allowed to travel to and from the state without the need to quarantine. Pregnant women, the seriously-ill, those above the age of 65 years and those travelling with children under the age of 10 will be exempt from institutional quarantine, even if they are coming from a part of the country with high incidences of infection. Instead, they will be required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.