West Bengal Makes RT-PCR Test Mandatory For Travellers From 9 Countries

by Suchismita Pal
West Bengal Makes RT-PCR Test Mandatory For Travellers From 9 Countries

Travellers arriving in West Bengal from 9 countries-United Kingdom, China, Brazil, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, New Zealand and Bangladesh must take an RT-PCR test on arrival. Reportedly all passengers must mandatorily undergo this test after landing at the NSCBI airport whether they’re carrying a Covud-19 negative report or are fully vaccinated. They will be sent to Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, a government facility for free testing. After which, they can go to a hotel or their home for quarantine until they receive the RT-PCR report. If tested positive, the arrivals will be admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Kolkata.

Kolkata Makes RT-PCR Report Compulsory For Passengers Arriving From These States

As per the latest guidelines of the West Bengal Government, Kolkata Airport has notified that from August 8, 2021, passengers coming from Pune, Mumbai and Chennai need to mandatorily carry RT-PCR negative reports with them not older than 72 hours from the flight departure. Travellers coming from all other states need to either carry an RT-PCR test report or a certificate of full vaccination.

West Bengal Makes COVID-Negative Report Mandatory For Popular Tourist Destinations

Tourist spots near Kolkata like Digha and Mandarmani have seen a massive rise in the number of visitors after the lifting of travel bans in West Bengal. While this has been great for the tourism industry, experts have warned about coronavirus spread due to large congregations. As a precautionary measure, West Bengal has made it mandatory for tourists to have Covid-19 vaccine certificates or RT-PCR negative test reports to stay in hotels at beach destinations like Digha and Mandamani. According to a Hindustan Times report, AM Hirani, an official in Purba Medinipur has said that a notice has been issued directing hotels not to allow tourists if they do not have Covid-19 test reports issued 48 hours earlier or Covid-19 vaccination certificates.

Picture Credits: Wikimedia Commons and Sanghamitra Biswas

After The Lifting Of The First Lockdown, Places 3 To 4 Hours Away From Kolkata Had Witnessed Huge Rush Of Tourists

Tired of being cooped up at home for about five months, a large number of people from Kolkata and adjoining suburbs rushed to the nearby beaches like Digha, Mandarmani and Tajpur and other destinations like Santiniketan and Purulia. Reportedly, during the Independence Day weekend, hotels and resorts got ‘overbooked’ in these destinations. These places are around 3 to 4 hours away from Kolkata and attract a large number of tourists from the city. According to TOI, Bipradas Chatterjee of Digha Hoteliers’ Association said, “It’s a pleasant surprise to once again find hotels packed and people coming out in flocks in bikes and cars. Speaking about the Independence Day weekend, Chatterjee said that almost 90 percent of the hotels in Digha, Mandarmani and Tajpur were booked and the beaches thronged with tourists of all ages.

Kolkata Digha Mandarmani
Picture Credits: Facebook/Digha

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Hilly areas like Purulia and Jhargham also saw a surge in the number of tourists during the same time. Reportedly, Jhargram’s Aranya Sundari hotel had to even refuse some tourists as all the rooms were occupied.

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The Hotel Staff Sanitised Everything, Right From Our Luggage To The Beds: M.Chakraborty To Curly Tales

Popular resorts in these places like Digha’s Hotel Sea Hawk and Mandarmani’s The Sana Beach Resort are taking heightened precautions to ensure the safety of the tourists. Curly Tales spoke to two Kolkatans who had recently visited Digha and Mandarmani. Sanghamitra Biswas, who had put up at Digha’s Sea Hawk, said, “All of us were sanitised before entering the hotel. The staff also sanitised everything inside our hotel. We had to wear face masks while stepping out as the cops were patrolling nearby and were imposing fines on mask violators. There are loads of people strolling on the beach.”

Kolkata Digha Mandarmani
Picture Credits: Sanghamitra Biswas

Maddy Chakraborty who visited Mandamani and stayed at The Sana Beach Resort was highly impressed by the measures of hygiene inside the hotel. Maddy said, “The hotel staff was sanitising our rooms on a daily basis. They were sanitising everything, right from our luggage to our beds. Upon entry, our cars were sanitised. The staff members were wearing face masks and the ones serving food were wearing face shields as well. Also, they had been cleaning the pool at frequent intervals with disinfectant solutions. When asked about the beach, she said, “The crowd was negligible in the beach. The authorities were not allowing the beach shacks to operate to prevent gathering.”

Kolkata Digha Mandarmani
Picture Credits: Maddy Chakraborty

Also Read: COVID-19 Essentials You Must Carry To Ensure Safe Travel

The lockdown is easing for the country’s economy to revive. But the coronavirus pandemic in India is at its peak now, with around 4.66 million cases and over 77,470 deaths. It’s best to stay indoors now. Even if you’re travelling, don’t forget to adhere to the measures of social distancing. Till then, enjoy this virtual tour of Kolkata from the comfort of your home: