Amid rising coronavirus cases, Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to open the union territory for tourism in a phased manner starting July 14. The govt issued a set of guidelines for the same. The first phase will see tourists arriving by air only.
In an order released by the J&K Govt stated, "In the view of the Covid related measures, it is felt imperative to put in place a protocol to be followed by the tourists as well the persons/authorities engaged in the hospitality sector," the release read.
RT-PCR testing of all tourists will be compulsory on their arrival and travellers will need to have a confirmed hotel booking. According to the Union Health Ministry, there are 10,156 COVID-19 cases and 169 deaths in Jammu and Kashmir due to coronavirus.
The guidelines to be followed by tourists visiting Kashmir:
- In this phase, there will be a partial opening of the tourism sector for external visitors from outside J&K, limited to tourists arriving by air only
- All incoming tourists must have confirmed hotel bookings for the duration of their stay.
- All tourists must have confirmed return air tickets.
- There shall be compulsory RTPCR tests for tourists on arrival.
- Taxis or transport facilities need to be pre-booked via the hotel, for which the J&K Tourism Department will detail procedures on its website.
- Persons above the age of 65 should avoid coming on a tourism holiday.
Arrival, Testing, and Accommodation:
- Tourists have to mandatorily pre-book their accommodation online. The proof of the same shall be checked on arrival. Taxis or transport facilities need to be pre-booked via the hotel. J&K Tourism will provide a list of such hotels and travel agencies.
- Till the RTPCR test results show negative for COVID-19, the tourist will not be permitted to leave the hotel where the booking has been made. Test results usually arrive within 24 hours.
- If a tourist brings COVID-19 negative report from the point of their departure, they will not be required to remain isolated in their hotels. However, RTPCR testing shall still take place.
- Tourists testing positive shall be sent to a medical facility as per protocol.
- All tourists should have the Aarogya Setu app installed on their phones and shall be checked for 'safe' status on the app at the time of arrival before entering the premises.