November 18, 2020 5:30:47 pm
It was previously reported that while the state of Himachal Pradesh would open its doors to tourists, the idyllic Spiti Valley will not welcome outsiders this year, so as to keep the native population safe from the COVID-19 infection. The decision was taken by the Spiti Tourism Society.
A circular from the Spiti Tourism Society read: “It is with sheer regret that we would like to inform all the travellers and tourists who are planning to head Spiti Valley, that Spiti valley is closed for any kind of tourism activity for this year 2020, specifically till 31st, October 2020. Tourism activity of any kind will not be allowed which includes jeep safaris, package tours, trekking and camping (sic).”
But now, new reports suggest Spiti will remain closed for travellers until March 31, 2021. The local community living in the valley has made the unanimous decision to shut its doors for five additional months, since there is a fear of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the harsh winter months, especially if tourists begin to visit it from outside.
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A recent Spiti Tourism Society circular read: “It is with regret that we inform all travellers that Spiti valley is closed for all kinds of tourism activities till March 31, 2021. Tourism in the valley will resume from April 1. The decision has been taken unanimously after multiple meetings with the native population and stakeholders, including hoteliers, homestay owners, guides and travel associates to keep Spiti residents and tourists safe.”
Infrastructural limitations and lack of proper healthcare facilities have made the Spiti population quite vulnerable in the pandemic. It, therefore, becomes the responsibility of people coming in from outside to exercise caution and not interact with locals until the situation improves in the country.
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