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Opinion

In the shadow of Covid-19, Uttarakhand prepares for New Year celebrations

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The Dehradun district administration in Uttarakhand has relaxed the guidelines for celebrations in hotels and restaurants, especially for tourists who have booked themselves to celebrate the New Year.

“Celebrations will be allowed in a simple way following all the Covid-19 protocols and social distancing only in those hotels and restaurants where tourists have already made reservations for the New Year 2021. However, dancing with a DJ is strictly prohibited,” said one order. issued Tuesday evening by Ashish Srivastava, Dehradun District Magistrate.

The order also mentions that in case of violations, the hotel owners will be responsible.

Sandeep Sahni, President of the Uttarakhand Restaurant and Hotel Industries Association said: “The Dehradun district administration has now provided us with some relaxations for the New Years Eve and New Years celebrations. There are no such restrictions in other districts. We are ready to receive tourists and we will hold celebrations following all the Covid-19 protocols ”.

Tourism fever has also increased in the state due to a forecast of snowfall in the Kumaon and Garhwal Hills. The mountainous towns of Mussoorie and Dhanaulti have already seen a flood of tourists after the latter reported the first snow of the season on Monday. Lal Tibba in Mussoorie witnessed a short streak of snow on Monday accompanied by hail and intermittent rain.

The Mussoorie business community has welcomed the relaxations offered by the Dehradun district administration.

Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary of the Mussoorie Hotel Association, said: “The tourism industry has suffered greatly due to the pandemic and we thank the administration for providing relaxation for simple functions for internal guests. The celebration of the new year is the most important event for the industry, as it will help to generate much needed income. ”

In a weather bulletin, India’s meteorological department predicted on Wednesday afternoon that very light to light rain or snowfall is likely to occur in isolated parts of Uttarakhand on January 2-3.

On Tuesday, the Uttarakhand government issued an order extending the Covid-19 guidelines until January 31, 2021.

An order issued by Om Prakash, Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand, stated: “Given the new increase in cases globally and the emergence of a new variant of the virus in the UK, caution and strict vigilance is necessary. “.

The order also mentions that strict surveillance must also be maintained to avoid a further increase in cases “in the wake of the upcoming New Year celebrations and the ongoing winter season, which are favorable for the spread of the virus.” District administrations have been asked to take appropriate action in this regard.

The state government has allowed districts, based on their assessments of the situation, to “impose lockdown restrictions in order to contain the spread of Covid-19, such as a nighttime curfew.”

District administrations have also been asked to ensure that the public follows the appropriate Covid-19 behavior of wearing masks, after social and physical distancing.

Hindustan Times

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