By Pradeep Chamaria
The new normal era is here after COVID-19 forced people inside for more than eight weeks during the second wave of the pandemic era. This is certainly a good sign for the travel industry which is hoping for a revival and coming up with new offers.
With the unlocking process in place, people are heading to their favorite hill stations in Himachal Pradesh and others. Recent images on various social media have been filled with lines of vehicles several kilometers long waiting to enter Himachal Pradesh.
Many states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha and Union Territory of Chandigarh have allowed vaccinated travelers to be exempt from the RT-PCR certificate requirement, although only under certain conditions.
The central government is working on issuing a set of guidelines for vaccinated passengers to be exempt from RT-PCR requirements, but officials said it would be up to the respective state governments to make a final decision on any exemptions. for passengers of these regulations.
The state’s tourism department encourages safe short stays with public health and vacation needs in mind. All hotels, restaurants and other relevant departments have already been disinfected to ensure COVID protection.
Tourism is important to various states and they wholeheartedly facilitate its revival, however, authorities put public health above all other aspects. SOPs and safety guidelines have been issued to ensure social distancing and other hygienic practices in public places, monuments and accommodation facilities. Only strict adherence to these guidelines in the post COVID scenario will ensure a further increase in the spread of the infection despite the growing number of tourists.
Each state has its own guidelines. Rajasthan only allowed tourists who were fully vaccinated, had a digital vaccination certificate, and had completed 28 days after the second dose. To travel to Punjab and Chandigarh, passengers must be in possession of a vaccination certificate of at least one dose, dating back more than two weeks. For Odisha, Meghalaya and Nagaland, passengers need a definitive vaccination certificate.
Various industry operators as well as airlines have welcomed these measures. Aviation industry stalwarts say they hope that with the downward trend in COVID cases and the accelerating rate of vaccination, passenger confidence and air traffic will gain further traction in early July. . On June 12, the number of daily passengers traveling on domestic flights exceeded the lakh mark for the first time since May, indicating a gradual increase in the number of passengers.
Plus, after missing the entire summer season, people are eager to get away from it all. It’s all about fun that local tourists return in large numbers as the unlocking of tourism continues.
Reopening of monuments and museums
As India was hit by the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases during the second wave from April to May, the Ministry of Tourism decided to close the 3,693 protected monuments, 50 museums and various sites archaeological sites under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
Now, as the country experiences a marked flattening of the curve, Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel tweeted: âToday the Union Ministry of Tourism gave its approval to duly open all monuments in ASI from June 16, 2021. COVID-19 protocols. Best wishes to you all.
To visit the Taj Mahal and other centrally protected monuments, entrance tickets can only be booked online, as the offline booking feature will still not be available, ASI said.
It’s worth mentioning here that also last year, monuments remained closed for over 100 days during the nationwide lockdown due to the first wave of COVID. These were conditionally reopened from July 6, as the number of visitors was greatly reduced and visitors were only allowed in accordance with guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
(The author is a well-known travel writer. Opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)