The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to open the union territory for tourism in a phased manner starting July 14 and has issued a set of guidelines for the same. The first phase will see tourists arriving by air only. “In the view of the COVID related measures, it is felt imperative to put in place a protocol to be followed by the tourists as well the persons/authorities engaged in the hospitality sector,” the release read.
RT-PCR testing of all tourists will be compulsory on their arrival and travelers will need to have a confirmed hotel booking, the J&K government said in its order on Sunday.
Till the test result shows a negative result for Covid-19, a tourist will remain in the hotel where the booking has been made and shall not be allowed to move out. A form to this effect shall be signed at the airport,” the release stated. Those tourists coming with a Covid-19 negative report will not be required to remain in their hotel rooms. However, RT-PCR testing will apply to them as well.
The incoming tourists must also have a confirmed return air ticket from Jammu and Kashmir. Taxi, transport facilities will need to be pre-booked by travelers through hotels or travel agencies. The procedures for the same will be put in place by the J&K government and mentioned on the official tourism department website.
The government has urged the elderly, those aging 65 years and above, to avoid traveling. The tourists will be asked to produce the booking details of their accommodation upon arrival.
All tourists are required to have the Aarogya Setu mobile application installed on their smartphones and make regular updates regarding their health. The hotel administration or travel agents are required to provide the travelers with a pick-up facility from the airport and also drop them on their departure.
This comes on a day when authorities on Sunday ordered a partial lockdown in Srinagar by designating over 60 containment zones amid a surge in coronavirus cases over the past week.
The lockdown will be imposed in 68 containment zones of the city from Monday and no movement would be allowed in these areas without permission, they said.
In view of the major spike in Covid-19 cases, we will have to carve out containment zones for effective restrictions in different areas of Srinagar. Local cooperation is solicited in the best interest of public health,” District Magistrate, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said.
Jammu and Kashmir have reported 10,156 coronavirus cases to date of which 5,895 patients have recovered while 169 have succumbed to death.