Himachal Pradesh Bans Visitors In Lahaul-Spiti & Rohtang Tunnel After Covid Cases Spike

by Tania Tarafdar
by Tania Tarafdar 1673

If you wish to visit Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal, you will have to wait as the local administration has decided to suspend all tourism-related activities in the region till April 2021. The authorities have taken the decision after the sudden spike in cases in the region. A police-check post has come up at Sissu to prevent the entry of outsiders into the valley. The Rohtang Tunnel, which connects Lahaul-Spiti with the rest of India will remain open for the locals. The district has reported nearly 939 positive cases so far, out of which 417 are active. In Lahaul’s Tholang village, 41 out of 42 residents have tested positive for the virus.  On November 21, 19 people in the valley have succumbed to death due to the infection.

Spiti ValleyLahaul-Spiti And Rohtang Pass of Himachal Pradesh Shuts For Tourism Till April 2021

Himachal Pradesh is open for tourists now. But the most beautiful part of Himachal Pradesh, the Lahaul-Spiti valley, will remain closed to tourists till April 2021. The Rohtang Tunnel will remain open only for the locals. The valley has reported around 939 positive cases, and 19 deaths were recorded on November 21. The high-altitude, the freezing weather and lack of medical facilities can pose major challenges if coronavirus cases rise in the valley.  According to an Outlook India report,  deputy commissioner Lahaul-Spiti, Pankaj Rai, has said,  “The locals adopt a different lifestyle during winters, and with temperatures dropping, chances of the virus spreading are very high. We have imposed the restrictions after consulting with panchayats officials and other stakeholders.”  Meanwhile, here are a few reasons to visit Kalpa instead of Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.

Lahaul-Spiti Also read: Rare Snow Leopard Count Crosses 100 In Himachal’s Spiti Valley

Gathering Of More Than 4 People Banned Under Section 144 In Keylong

Under Section 144, officials of Keylong have also banned gatherings of more than four people in public places. The Himachal government is also thinking of imposing night curfew in districts with high COVID-19 cases. Some COVID-19 hotspots in the state now are Lahaul-Spiti, Shimla, Kullu and Mandi. At present, Himachal Pradesh has around 34, 327 cases and 537 deaths.


Photo: Anangsha Alomyan

Spiti Valley Has Limited Medical Facilities

All hotels and homestays are also closed in Spiti this year. The decision came considering the consequences of the pandemic on the high altitude Spiti valley with limited medical facilities, underdeveloped infrastructure and extreme geographical condition. However, the Spiti Tourism Society admits that the closedown would have adverse effects on the economy, but it was a necessary step to curb the spread of Coronavirus. With winters approaching, the valley will be far more vulnerable. Any person requiring medical assistance will need step outside Spiti for treatment. Instead, visit these Top 10 Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh.

Lahaul-Spiti Also Read: Girl Trekked & Traveled To Spiti For 25 Days In ₹4,200

Hoteliers In Other Parts Of Himachal Have Resumed Operations

In the rest of Himachal Pradesh, the hoteliers have resumed their operations. The government also allowed bars and restaurants to open subject to strict regulations on social distancing. The lifting of these restrictions saw a massive rush of people driving to Himachal Pradesh and Shimla.

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