Spiti valley of Himachal opens to tourists on February 17

Shimla: It's good news for the tourists, adventure enthusiasts and bikers and trekkers wishing to catch a glimpse of fascinating snowfall–laden mountains and cold deserts of Spiti, a high altitude tourist paradise in Himachal Pradesh.

More than two months after a ban imposed on entry of the tourists in the Spiti valley, the Spiti Tourism society –an umbrella body of tourism stakeholders, has decided to welcome the tourists from February 17.

The ban was imposed due to high incidence of Covid-19 in the areas after tourists influx as result of opening of Rohtang Tunnel on October 3.

Even before this, the lockdown induced by pandemic had hit the tourism sector adversely.

The Spiti Tourism Society, in a press release on Tuesday said "we will welcome the tourists. The Spiti can't stay without the tourists."

Now that a decision has been taken to open the area to tourists, the guests coming to the region will have to strictly follow SOPs.

The tourists, however, will not get access to Kibber village and Khibber wildlife, which has been declared as a prohibited area.

"All tour operators should ensure that people travelling in groups should have a valid RT-PCR/RAT report with them," added the society.

The report should be from a valid COVID testing facility and not older than 96 hours.

For travellers reaching Spiti independently, it shall be mandatory to visit government hospital and get a test done.

In yet another proactive note, the society has declared that vigilance committees have been formed, which will ensure compliance of SOPs.

Lahaul and Spiti regions have been worst affected by the pandemic.

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