Published on : Saturday, July 10, 2021
COVID-19 awareness campaign has started in Manali, since Himachal Pradesh is witnessing a massive inflow of tourists after relaxation in COVID restrictions by the state government.
Starting from June, Himachal witnessed a traffic of around 6-7 lakh tourists. As Covid-19 situation started improving in the Himalayan state, tourists started visiting destinations like Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Narkanda and others in large numbers.
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.”
Sharma said that police have recorded more than 300 challans in the last 7-8 days and have recovered Rs. 3 lakh.
Earlier this week, the Union Health Ministry had warned that it can re-impose restrictions again if Covid protocols are not followed. Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that people traveling to hill stations were not following Covid-appropriate behavior. “We can nullify the ease in restrictions again if protocols not complied with,” Agarwal said.
Referring to the huge footfall of people in hill stations, the Health Ministry stated that gross violations of Covid appropriate behavior can reverse the gains made so far.
Pictures of overcrowded tourist places in Himachal went viral on social media with people slamming those violating Covid norms while traveling. Some said that if people continued to behave in such a way, then the third wave might not be far away. Officials have described the images of large numbers of people thronging popular hill stations of Himachal as “frightening”.