Shimla Permits Only Senior Citizens At Popular Spots; Police Deployed To Prevent Maskless Tourists

by Sanjana Shenoy
by Sanjana Shenoy 2954

We’ve seen how the urge for travel has skyrocketed among people after the lockdown. But that doesn’t mean one can do anything for the sake of travelling. Maskless tourists have been crowding at various tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh, maintaining no social distancing. So, Shimla has now put restrictions on people visiting the hill station. According to the latest guidelines, only senior citizens will be permitted to sit on the Ridge and pavements along the Mall Road. Police deployed at various spots will ban and fine maskless tourists. Moreover, if Shimla’s Mall Road and Ridge have more tourists than the capacity, then their entry can be banned. This is done to avoid overcrowding and implement Covid-appropriate behaviour.

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

As India’s covid cases slowly dip amid the ongoing second wave, tourists have started thronging Himachal Pradesh’s Manali in large numbers. Hotel occupancy has skyrocketed in tourist hotspots like Shimla, Dalhousie, Kufri, Narkanda apart from Manali. In a bid to escape the heatwave in the plains and swarm revenge travel, tourists have hit the streets of Manali as the ongoing Covid second wave threat continues to wane away. But Manali’s huge crowds with no social distancing scene, unfortunately, shows that the third wave is just around the corner. After this, the Central Government wrote to the Himachal Pradesh government to not let their guard down. As a result, the security in Manali has been increased and the police are on the watch for Covid rule breakers.

Mask Violators To Face ₹5000 Fine Or 8 Days Of Jail As Punishment

According to a Live Mint report, Gurudev Sharma, SP Kullu said, “We have initiated this drive to make the tourists aware. Those not wearing masks can be punished with 5,000 in fine or 8 days in jail.” The police have already collected  3 lakhs in the last 7 to 8 days by recording more than 300 challans.

Manali Witnesses Huge Crowds Of People With No Social Distancing

With hotel occupancy in Manali reaching its peak, Tourism Industry Stakeholder Association president Mohinder Seth revealed that the occupancy in hotels stays between 60 to 90 per cent during weekends. He added that on other days it remains around 40 to 45 per cent. With the removal of the mandatory Covid negative report and e-pass to enter Himachal Pradesh, the tourism industry is back with a bang. But with that comes a major flipside. Manali has been witnessing massive crowds of tourists, maintaining no social distancing. Pictures of Manali’s tourist crowded areas have been spreading like wildfire on social media. From just June 27 to July 6, the police in Manali has issued 308 challans with fines amounting to a whopping ₹2.77 lakh.

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Social Media Hashtags Manali & Third Wave, Go Hand In Hand

Manali found a hot spot on Twitter’s trending page just alongside the third wave. And this is no coincidence. One look at the tourist flooded pictures of Manali amid the second wave, and you’d know that the third wave is not far behind. Social media users commented, “Why is it so hard for people to understand that this behaviour will take us all from ‘no beds in hotels’ to ‘no beds in hospitals’ AGAIN!!! #3rdWave #manali #covid isn’t over yet.”

Another tweet read, “Corona loves the way humans forget the lessons from past experiences. #Manali (sic).” Twitter users mocked these tourists for being careless amidst fears of the Delta variant and third wave in India. It’s quite unfortunate, that there is still a severe lack of responsible and safe travel.

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