Shimla, July 5: Tourism in Himachal Pradesh picked up after a long hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of tourists flocked to the hill state to escape the sultry weather prevailing in most parts of the country. The tourists thronged the hill state via road and air as the state government waived off the negative RT-PCR report and e-pass for inbound travellers. This has resulted in a heavy footfall in the state’s tourist destinations, majorly in Manali, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamsala among several other locations. Parwanoo– a foothill town and entry point to Shimla, has been reporting a record number of visitors.
Netizens took to Twitter and shared images of crowded streets, wondering if COVID-19 third wave is coming! The images that are being widely circulated on social media platforms show the heavily crowded streets of Shimla and Manali. People are seen flouting social distancing norms with no face masks. Hundreds of tourists are seen crowding the streets without wearing face masks or adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behavior. The image of the packed street show tourists sticking to each other with hardly any space to breathe. Himachal Pradesh Traffic Update: Massive Jam Seen on the Entry Point to HP After Govt Eased COVID-19 Restrictions (Watch Video).
Netizens Share Images of Crowded Streets in Manali; Check Tweets
Reports inform that the hotels at the major tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh are also running out of beds due to the heavy influx. Mohinder Seth, president of the Tourism Industry Stakeholder Association was quoted by PTI saying that occupancy in the hotels remains between 60 and 90 percent during weekends, while on other days it remains around 40-45 percent. However, in the past three days, more than 11,000 vehicles have entered Shimla.
Earlier in June, Himachal Pradesh announced opening tourism for travellers outside the state. Watching the heavy inflow of travellers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitterati slammed the tone-deaf behavior of the tourists claiming that the momentary enjoyment could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases again.
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Even if you’re fully vaccinated, do not be careless and continue to follow all the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like washing hands, wearing a face mask when you step put, and maintain social distancing.