Home / News / India /  Uttarakhand orders new restrictions for hotels, challans maskless amid tourist rush

As tourists flocking to the hills has led to increased concerns among authorities amid a third wave scare, the Uttarakhand government has decided to issue fresh guidelines for hotels in the state to manage crowds.

"We have issued an order regarding 50% occupancy capping in hotels in Nainital and Dehradun," state Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Friday.

The CM further said that challans are being issued to those who are flouting the mandatory face mask rule. "We are making efforts and will follow guidelines to contain the spread of the virus," he said.

The statement comes in the backdrop of tourists thronging Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh amid heatwave conditions in the northern planes and the Covid-19 situation stabilises.

However, the gross violation of safety protocols has attracted condemnation from many fronts.

The Union health ministry on Friday cautioned that the second wave of Covid-19 is not over yet and noted that 66 districts in the country reported more than a 10% positivity rate for the week ending 8 July.

Addressing a press conference, Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary in the ministry, said 80% of new cases are coming from 90 districts, which indicated the need for focused attention in these areas.

VK Paul, member of Niti Aayog (health), said: "We cannot lower our guard. A new risk is being seen at tourist spots where a gathering of crowds being seen, social distancing & mask protocol is not being followed. This is a serious cause of concern."

"Visuals from tourist spots of people mingling without Covid protocols a serious cause of concern. This has been highlighted in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he added.

Paul said it is also the responsibility of the local administration to enforce Covid protocols at tourist sites.

Prior to this, PM Modi had also expressed similar concerns on Thursday.

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