SRINAGAR: Amid the surge in Covid cases, the government has included people associated with travel and tourism in the priority group for getting Covid vaccination in the Valley.
According to the divisional commissioner Kashmir PK Pole, Deputy Commissioners and Director Tourism have been asked to immediately vaccinate people dealing with the tourism and transport sector.
“The deputy commissioners and director tourism shall ensure that the vaccination of the people engaged in tourism activities which include hoteliers, taxi/cab drivers, waiters, tourist guides etc,” reads an official document issued by the Divisional Commissioner.
More than 8000 people have tested COVID-19 positive in the last one week of which nearly 2000 are travellers. Tourism players have asked for making negative RT-PCR mandatory for travellers.
The government was screening travellers entering Kashmir at Srinagar Airport and Lakhanpur Toll Plaza but was not tracking the positive cases. This was against last year’s protocol when the government was itself taking into administrative quarantine those who were positive and their contacts. The practise was later given up as soon the cases started to go down in Kashmir.
The divisional commissioner has also made it mandatory for tourism players to get an undertaking from the Covid positive tourists at the time of their check out.
All the district heads, the document reads, shall ensure the undertaking from Covid positive tourists by private hotel owners while leaving Kashmir stating that they shall follow their Covid SOPs and shall express their Covid status at airport and wherever asked.
Besides, as per the document, the district administrations have also been directed to strictly implement COVID-19 SOPs on the visitors and people in touch with them.
“All the deputy commissioners are stressed upon to enforce the use of face masks and ensure that SOPs regarding Covid Appropriate Behaviour are being abided by,” it said.