As part of the Uttarakhand government's efforts to reduce crowding at tourists places like Mussoorie and Nainital, about 8,000 tourist vehicles were sent back over the weekend.
According to Uttarakhand Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Nilesh Anand Bharane, check-posts have also been set up at the state border. Tourists have been informed that they must have negative RT-PCR tests, prior hotel bookings and registration on the online portal.
"After videos went viral of huge crowds bathing in Kempty falls, the Uttarakhand government has taken steps to control the number of tourists. People have been given notices to carry negative RTPCR reports and register on the online portal," DIG Bharane said.
"Tourists were also informed that if they had not booked hotels prior to their visit, they could be sent back. Border check posts have been put up at the state border and about 4,000 vehicles each from Mussoorie and Nainital were sent back," he added.
He further appealed to people to consider other popular destinations like Bhimtal, Ranikhet and Landsdowne to avoid big crowds.
This comes amid concerns of COVID protocol violations at hill stations as state governments gradually lift lockdown restrictions.
Holiday destinations in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have seen a huge influx of tourists over the last few days. Several videos have surfaced online of large gatherings where many have been spotted without masks and minimal social distancing.
The Uttarakhand government has meanwhile extended the COVID curfew in the state till July 20. Restrictions will remain in force till 6 am on July 20. A cap of 50 people has also been imposed for weddings and funerals.
As per the union health ministry, there are currently 932 active COVID-19 cases in Uttarakhand. As many as 3,32,957 recoveries and 7,341 deaths have been reported in the state so far.
A total of 49,31,189 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, including 39,30,271 first doses and 10,00,918 second doses.
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