As travel restrictions around the country start to ease under Unlock 1.0, certain destinations in India are reopening their doors for tourists. Darjeeling becomes the latest city to join the list as it is all prepared to welcome tourists starting July 1. By Kumar Shree  

Home to some of the most famous tea estates in India, the hilly abode of Darjeeling is ready to welcome tourists once again. The address to expansive colonial-era architecture and Buddhist monasteries, Darjeeling, has opened its doors for tourism after being under lockdown for about three months now. You will soon be able to take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, look at the Himalayas up close and personal, and sip on a steaming cup of the celebrated Darjeeling tea.

 

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The decision to reopen the destination for tourism has come through a committee formed by the Gorkha Territorial Administration, an autonomous administrative body of Darjeeling. Hotel owners, political parties, district administration, and the local police form up this committee that has decided to reopen hotels. The move aims to revive tourism and economy that has come to a standstill because of the lockdown.

As reported by Times of India, GTA Chief Binay Tamang said, “We welcome the decision. Tourism is the backbone of the hills. We are all concerned about the virus, but the livelihood has to be saved too. The hotel owners have decided to open their doors again, and people across the country are most welcome. It’s not a risk but a prudent call that we are taking.”

 

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All safety procedures and protocols will be put in place to ensure strict monitoring of the Coronavirus outbreak and preventing it from re-entering Darjeeling. Hotel owners will adhere to the standard operating procedures outlined by the central government. All travellers will need to present their fitness certificates before entering the town, and they will be additionally screened at two points before entering Darjeeling. Hotel staffs will also screen the travellers before allowing them inside. Other sanitation measures will be in place, and travellers will be encouraged to ferry around in personal vehicles.

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