Himachal Pradesh Imposes Night Curfew & Shuts Movie Theatres To Combat Rising Covid Cases

by Suchismita Pal
Himachal Pradesh Imposes Night Curfew & Shuts Movie Theatres To Combat Rising Covid Cases

As Omicron cases are rising in several parts of India, Himachal Pradesh has come up with a fresh set of guidelines. The new guidelines include imposition of night curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM. Gatherings have been restricted to 50% in marriages and banquet halls. Cinema halls and sports complexes have been shut. The decision came after Himachal reported 260 new COVID-19 positive cases on January 4, 2022. The Kangra district has reported the maximum number of cases in the state.

Ahead of the holiday season, the footfall of tourists had increased in the towns of Himachal Pradesh and particularly its capital Shimla. According to reports, the Kalka-Shimla trains were fully occupied and the tourists were thronging to hills to spend holidays. Now, as winter has arrived and Christmas and New Year celebrations are near, Himachal is witnessing a huge rush of tourists again. Travellers flocked to Himachal Pradesh following the Met department’s forecast of a spell of snow and rain from December 24 and 26. Holidayers are experiencing a white Christmas in Himachal right now!

Tourists from all parts of the country are flocking to Himachal Pradesh to ring in New Year. To contain the spread of the virus, the state government and health department have issued guidelines that the local authorities and must execute. As of now, the government does not want to impose any restrictions on tourists as it is a source of income for hundreds in the state. Visitors are urged to wear masks at all times and adhere to social distancing norms. The Atal Tunnel and Sissu in Lahual and Spiti saw long queues of vehicles of a large number of travellers who are flocking to the snow-clad hilly state to enjoy their winters.

Tourism has been the backbone of the state’s economy and this great footfall can translate into great business and revenue in days to come. After a long economic setback due to consequent curfews, the inflow of tourists has increased hope of revival of tourism in the state. Covid-19 affected various stakeholders including the travel agents, the property owners, taxi drivers, and guides. Many even lost their jobs as the business came crashing down to zero due to a lack of tourists.

Himachal Pradesh Is The First State In India To Achieve 100 Percent Vaccination For First Dose

Earlier, Health Minister Dr. Rajiv Saizal, announced Himachal Pradesh has completed the first dose of vaccination for the 18 plus age group. Speaking to ANI, Saizal said, “The state has completed the first dose of the vaccination to people of 18 plus age group with 100% completion and it aims to complete the hundred percent vaccination of both the doses by November 30, 2021.” The state government has said that Himachal has become the first state in the country to complete 100% vaccination of the first dose.

Picture Credits: Pexels


We’re Condemning Vacationers In Manali But Rush For Freedom Is Global: Anand Mahindra

The prolonged lockdown and the stresses of the pandemic have made people restless, driving them to think in a similar way, at least when it comes to travelling. To ditch the pandemic blues, a large number of people were just waiting for the restrictions to be lifted to break free and escape to the mountains, beaches and more. This has given rise to the new travel trend called ‘revenge travel’. It is the urge to travel after being cooped up at home for an extended period of time. The thick crowds of tourists at present in destinations like Manali, Nainital, Digha, Mandarmani and more are the proof.  But this trend has not just started in India. It is a global phenomenon now. Anand Mahindra calls it the ‘rush for freedom.’

Mahindra has posted a video on Twitter where Americans are seen rushing in large numbers to national parks. Mahindra has stated, “We have been condemning the Indian vacationers in Manali and other hill stations. We should acknowledge that this rush for ‘freedom’ and reconnecting with the outdoors is a global phenomenon….”

Mahindra’s post also contains a link to a New York Times report which reveals that popular American national parks like Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, Arches National Park and Grand Teton National Park are already receiving a large number of tourists. The report also stated that some sites are getting ready for their busiest years in history. At certain spots, the tourists also had to wait for hours. This Natural Swimming Pool In Uttarakhand Has Made It To Anand Mahindra’s Bucket List

Also Read: Revenge Travel Is The Newest Buzzword Among Travel Enthusiasts & Here’s Why!

Mahindra Had Earlier Called Manali’s Crowd ‘Alarming’

Earlier, Mahindra had called the crowd in Manali “alarming” and stated it as “evidence of a possible post-Covid trend.” He said, “Yes, alarming. But it’s evidence of a possible post-Covid trend: The pandemic highlighted the fragility & unpredictability of life. People are living FOR the moment. We all want to see more & do more ASAP. We are becoming NOW consumers. Kal ho naa ho?.”

Also Read: Manali Police To Charge ₹5000 Fine For Not Wearing Masks; Collected ₹3 Lakh From Tourists

Meanwhile, PM Modi has expressed his concerns over the images of crowded markets and hill stations with maskless people roaming around flouting norms of social distancing.