Disclaimer: OHOT advises you to travel safely and responsibly. Please read all the travel guidelines before visiting any place. The guidelines might be different for each state. Contact the locals in the area so that you can have a clear picture of what to expect.
Mountains are finally calling us! The beautiful treks around Manali, the amazing food from Dharamshala, the apple orchards from Kinnaur and the hippy Kasol. The beauty of Himachal is hard to describe. And I know it was harder to be away for 6 months. The summer has come and gone without the visit to this heavenly state. And if you are fed up with the office work and daily chores at home and would like to spend some time on the top of a hill or by the side of a gurgling river, we have great news for you. Himachal Pradesh is ready to host you again.
Even though tourism had started opening in Himachal for last few months, there were a lot of restrictions which prevented people from entering. But on September 16, the state government decided to lift the travel related restrictions that were imposed due to the pandemic. This means that people travelling to Himachal will not be asked to show the COVID-19 negative report. This decision has met with mixed reactions. The hotel and other travel related industries are happy as they have been out of work for months. On the other hand, the locals are worried as no restrictions means more people visiting the state which increases the chances of virus transfer that can prove deadly.
Here at OHOT, we believe in travelling responsibly. Therefore, we urge people to get tested before travelling to any place in Himachal Pradesh (or any state for that matter). When you travel to a hill station or any remote place, you have to remember that these places are not equipped with enough healthcare resources and overlooking can cause a serious threat to the locals as well the tourists.
You can check www.icmr.gov.in to get a detailed list of ICMR-authorized laboratories (both government and private) in your city.
Safety Guidelines for Tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh
- You must install the Aarogya Setu app on your mobile phone and update your health details.
- No separate permission/approval.prior testing is required to enter the state.
- Interstate buses are not operational and they will remain suspended till further orders
Most of the hotels are gearing up to open for tourists and have started taking bookings. The properties are getting sanitized and necessary changes are being done in accordance with the state guidelines. The staff is also trained to maintain proper hygiene.
Spiti valley remains closed!
While most of the places have opened up in Himachal, the government has decided that Spiti will remain closed for any kind of tourism activity till October 31st. The chances for the valley to resume tourism this year are very bleak. This decision is made considering the consequences of the pandemic on the high altitude region of Spiti Valley which has limited medical facilities, underdeveloped infrastructure and extreme geographical conditions. With the winters approaching, the valley will be far more vulnerable than usual. Any person needing medical assistance will need to be taken outside of Spiti for treatment while maintaining social distance which will be very hard to execute. And therefore the restriction was necessary.
And while other places in Himachal are officially open, you might face resistance from the locals (especially people living in comparatively remote areas) for the above reason. Therefore please check with the hotels about the situation before you book any trip.
Few Important Things to Keep in Mind
- Please travel responsibly. We advise you to go through all the travel guidelines thoroughly before venturing out. Also, even though the restrictions are removed in many places, let’s still take all precautions from our end. Please get yourself tested and carry a COVID-19 negative report with you,
- As I have said before, many places in Himachal are not developed enough and lack healthcare facilities. It’s very important for us to take care of our health as well as think about the locals. Any carelessness from our end can start another pandemic.
- If you get any symptoms, please don’t go out. Isolate yourself.
- Please wear mask every time you are entering a public place.
- Remember to carry sanitizers and use them too.
- Maintain distance while moving in a market or any public place.
We have resumed our group trips and have some really amazing destinations for you. Please check our website for details!