The world is currently grappling with an unprecedented pandemic called Coronavirus or COVID-19 which has so far claimed around 3,16,000 lives across the world and affected more than 48,00,000 people. Among the 200 odd affected countries is India which has so far reported 95,600 confirmed cases and more than 3,000 deaths. As the country is still in the second stage of the pandemic, the government is taking stringent measures to avoid community spread.
As the virus spreads from human to human transmission on a large scale, the government has advised all citizens to embrace social distancing and self-quarantine. Bars, clubs and gyms in various cities have been closed and various tourist spots have also been shut so as to avoid large-scale gathering of people. Here is a list of tourist destinations that have been locked down in India in view of the pandemic.
Lockdown of tourist spots
One of the most popular hill stations in India, Himachal Pradesh on March 19 announced a ban on entry of both domestic and foreign tourists in the state. The ban will remain in force until further orders.
Ladakh Administration ordered that no commercial flights landing at Leh shall carry in-bound passengers other than residents of Ladakh, civilian officers and officers of uniformed forces serving there.
Jammu & Kashmir
As a precautionary measure to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, Jammu and Kashmir banned the entry of foreign tourists on March 18. Besides, hotels, restaurants, community kitchens and home delivery of food have also been banned in Srinagar.
Taking precautionary measure, Arunachal Pradesh barred the entry to foreign visitors as a preventive step.
“Health of our citizen is top priority,” tweeted Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu. “Arunachal has closed its door to tourists temporarily to prevent the possibility of spread of COVID-19 in our state. Earlier the state had restricted the entry of foreigners in the state.”
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio announced that issuance of the Inner Line Permit to gain entry into the state will be suspended. The Inner Line Permit is a document required by foreigners or non-local Indian citizens to enter places designated “protected areas”. In the North East, it currently applies to Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and most of Nagaland.
“Educational institutions in Nagaland will remain close[d] till April 12,” Rio tweeted. “Non-essential official gatherings deferred. Issue of ILP suspended. The entry of tourists remains barred. I urge everyone to take steps for self-protection and not to panic.”
Another hill station with heavy tourist footfall, Sikkim also barred entry of tourists and labourers from outside the state in view of the threat posed by the coronavirus. Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang said that those who were already in the state had to leave immediately.
Local administrations at Lachen and Lachung also banned the entry of tourists as a preventive step. The decisions were taken by Dzumsas, which is a traditional system of local self-governance recognised by the Sikkim government.
(Curated by Priya Pareek)