Jammu and Kashmir has decided to begin a phase-wise reopening of the tourism sector on July 14th, with limited tourists arriving by air, Travelbiz monitor learned. As J&K begins phase-1 with this decision and guidelines for tourists from July, the State Executive Committee, in an issued order, said, “Any deviation from this order shall attract penal action under the disaster management Act.” On July 8, the government reopened gardens and parks to the public after 100 days of closure, since the nationwide lockdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In phase-1 will see a partial opening of the tourism sector for external visitors, limited to tourists arriving by air only.
According to the order, “All incoming tourists must have confirmed hotel bookings for the duration of their stay. All incoming tourists must have confirmed return air tickets to any place outside J&K, either to their departure point or any other destination.”
Visitors must undergo mandatory RT-PCR testing and book their transport and accommodation in advance
Tourists above the age of 65 years are advised to avoid visiting the Union Territory and also announced compulsory RT-PCR testing of all tourists at the airport on arrival. Until the COVID-19 test result shows negative, tourists much remain in a hotel where the booking has been made and are not permitted to move out. The test results will normally arrive within 24 hours, except in special circumstances.
However, tourists arriving with COVID-19 negative reports from their departure point would not be required to remain isolated in hotels. “They shall, however, be also required to give their sample for RT-PCR testing on arrival at the airport,” the order said, adding the tourists testing positive would be sent for treatment to a medical facility as per protocol.
The order also said that accommodation and transport facilities should be pre-booked through the hotel or travel agency for which procedures would be put in place by the tourism department on its website. It said all tourists should have the Arogya Setu app installed on their phones. They shall be checked for ‘safe’ status on the app at the time of arrival. “The hotels, houseboats, and guest houses or the travel agents will arrange for transport of the tourists to the airport for their departure from J&K,” as per the order.