While resentment among hoteliers and locals mount against the Himachal Pradesh government’s decision to open the border for tourists, many are flocking to hills after spending months in lockdown.
Entry points to the state have been witnessing long queues of vehicles over the past few days ever since the state government allowed entry of tourists.
Tourists from neighbouring states have started coming to the state in large numbers, resulting in queues at police barriers due to the completion of various formalities related to their entry.
The Himachal government allowed entry of those tourists who have done advance booking at a hotel or a homestay in the state and a negative COVID-19 test report from an ICMR-accredited laboratory within the last 72 hours at the time of entry.
According to a report by Indian Express, traffic jams at Shoghi police station in Shimla extended for several hundred metres.
Protest Over Opening Of Borders
Locals and activists have been protesting the move to open the state for tourism amid the COVID-19 outbreak. They said that while the people of the state are making every possible effort to contain the spread of the virus, the government has dampened all efforts with one move.
The entry of tourists in Himachal Pradesh was banned in March to check the spread of novel coronavirus. Hoteliers are also apprehensive about opening up, saying that they are receiving one or two bookings and that the order puts staff at risk.