On July 2, the hilly state of Uttarakhand announced the lifting of all travel restrictions, both to domestic and international tourists. The state, which had been under lockdown from March 22 had begun to slowly lift lockdown restrictions on June 8. After Uttarakhand, another tourist hotspot state—Himachal Pradesh—decided to lift travel restrictions on July 3, after a period of three and a half months. With both states offering postcard views along with picturesque hotels and homestays, tourists can start thinking about a trip to the mountains.
However, with these lifting of travel restrictions come a set of safety guidelines for each state. As travel restrictions ease across the country, both states have issued fresh guidelines for inter-state travellers over the past week. While travel restrictions have been eased for Uttarakhand, the Himachal Pradesh government has done away with most restrictions to help the struggling tourism industry of the state.
All incoming travellers must have a confirmed hotel booking for at least a two-day stay.
All inbound travellers must register themselves on the official state government website: https://smartcity dehradun.uk.gov.in
Those entering Uttarakhand from any other part of the country will have to produce a negative Covid-19 test result on arrival. The test must be administered not more than 96 hours prior to arrival into Uttarakhand. If the tourists are travelling without a test result, they will be required to undergo a paid Covid-19 antigen test on arrival.
Hotels will be responsible to ensure that their guests have tested negative for Covid-19 before checking in. Hotels can tie up with authorised testing centres to provide testing facilities of their own. Hotels are required to notify authorities if their guests are found to be Covid-19 positive.
However, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced that those visiting the state for 3-4 days on account of work will not be required to carry a Covid-19 test report.
Asymptomatic travellers who are visiting the state for business, exams, industry or personal distress for a period of less than seven days will not have to self-isolate. However, asymptomatic travellers visiting for more than a week will have to undergo home quarantine for ten days.
Inter-district travellers will not need to undergo mandatory quarantine, but they will have to register themselves on the web portal.
According to updated guidelines issued on September 16, inter-state travellers visiting the state DO NOT need to register for an e-pass.
Additionally, tourists no longer need to produce a Covid-19 negative test result on arrival, as was previously required.
However, due to rising Covid-19 cases across the country, inter-state bus services remain prohibited for the time being.
Sanjana Ray is that unwarranted tour guide people groan about on trips. When she isn't geeking out on travel and history, she can be found walking around the streets, crying for Bengali food. She is former Digital Writer at National Geographic Traveller India.
Tanay Gokhale enjoys writing and follows what he thinks is an eclectic mix of interests. Especially passionate about travelling with good music and a book to boot.