Covid-19 test, confirmed tickets mandatory as J-K opens for tourists from today

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Travellers planning to visit Jammu and Kashmir will have to follow a set of guidelines after the administration opened the Union Territory for tourism in a phased manner from Tuesday.

The outbreak of disease and the subsequent measures put further burden on Kashmir’s tourism industry, the backbone of J-K’s economy, which had been witnessing a downturn since August last year.

Authorities had banned the entry of foreign tourists into the region as a precautionary measure in view of the outbreak of coronavirus disease around the world.

Here are things you need to keep in mind if you plan to visit J-K:

* Only those coming by air would be permitted to enter J-K in the first phase, according to guidelines and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

* All tourists will have to install the Aarogya Setu mobile application and make regular updates regarding their health.

* Tourists above the age of 65 should avoid coming to J-K, the guidelines say.

* It will be mandatory for tourists to pre-book their accommodation online in hotels, houseboats or guesthouses etc. “The proof of the same shall be checked on arrival,” according to the guidelines.

* They must have confirmed hotel bookings for the duration of their stay as well as confirmed return tickets to any place outside J-K, either to their departure point or any other destination.

* The hotel administration or travel agents will have to provide the travellers with a pick-up facility from the airport and also drop them on their departure.

* Taxis or transport facility have to be pre-booked through hotel or travel agency for which procedure will be put in place by the tourism department.

* A Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction or RTPCR test to detect Sars-Cov-2 or coronavirus will be compulsory for visitors when they arrive.

* “Till the test result shows a negative result of Covid-19, a tourist will remain in the hotel where the booking has been made and shall not be permitted to move out. A form in this regard shall have to be signed at the airport,” the guidelines said.

* “Test results will normally arrive within 24 hours except in special circumstances. The hotel management shall be required to ensure compliance with the protocol,” the guidelines said.

* Visitors with Covid-19 negative reports from their departure points would not be required to remain isolated in hotels, the guidelines said.

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