The state of Himachal Pradesh recently reopened to welcome tourists after months of being under lockdown, and that has resulted in kilometre-long traffic jams as tourists flock the hill station. By Amitha Ameen

 

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You may want to rethink your travel plans to the state of Himachal Pradesh. Although the state government has reopened the borders to welcome tourists, the move was strongly opposed and resented by most of the state’s locals and hoteliers, and it seems like they were right.

After spending months in lockdown, it seems like most people in the surrounding regions of the state seemed to get the same idea! Hundreds of tourists were seen flocking the mountain state, with kilometre-long traffic jams on the narrow roads leaving people stranded for hours.

 

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As tourists from neighbouring states have started arriving in large numbers, this has put a strain on the authorities at the border who are in charge of checking and completing the necessary guidelines to allow tourists to enter the state, causing a delay in the movement of traffic.

While cars were queued up for several hundred metres in many of the state’s tourist destinations, locals and activists continued to protest the reopening, stating that the state’s effort to curb the virus would all go to vain with the large influx of tourists.

 

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Himachal Pradesh had earlier gone into lockdown in March along with the rest of the country, as a way to curb the virus. Recently, the state government announced that they are reopening the borders for tourists if they have done advance bookings and can produce a negative COVID-19 test report that is not older than 72 hours before the time of entry.

Related: A Magical Walk On The Wild Side: Himachal’s Kheerganga Trek