5,000 tourists turned away from Nainital as hill town fears Covid-19 surge


Express News Service

DEHRADUN:  Authorities in the picturesque Nainital have stopped at least 5,000 tourists from entering the hill station following the unavailability of parking space as well as their inability to produce Covid-negative RT-PCR reports, required as per safety guidelines.

Nainital’s Senior Superintendent of Police Preeti Priyadarshini said tourists coming to the hill station have registered a considerable spike amid an intensive heat wave in north India. But those who don’t have a Covid-negative report are not allowed in the lake town.

With thousands of people thronging to the hills to escape the sweltering heat of the plains, hotspots like Nainital and Mussoorie are jam-packed with no hotel rooms and parking spaces. According to the estimates of the state tourism department and police, more than 10,000 people visited Nainital and Mussoorie last weekend, the two most famous hill towns in Uttarakhand.

While those in the tourism business are happy with this scenario, it has also evokes fears of a resurgence in Covid- 19 cases. Memories of huge crowds at Haridwar Kumbh in April being blamed for the deadly second wave are still too fresh to forget. Hence, everyone is being extra careful. Ved Shah, spokesperson for the Nainital Hotel and Restaurant Association, said: “Last weekend, we saw 100% occupancy in hotels.

That’s why we are strictly following Covid-19 guidelines and not allowing anyone without negative test report prior to 72 hours.” Sandeep Sahni, president of Uttarakhand Hotel Association, sad, “It has been months since local hotels had a good business.

The industry has suffered a lot and thousands have lost their livelihood. However, everybody has to be careful about Covid guidelines.” A doctor from a government medical college said an uncontrolled surge in the crowd can spread the virus at an unimaginable pace and the authorities must limit the number of people visiting thes hill stations.

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