Darjeeling restricts tourist entry till April 15 due to COVID-19 outbreak

GTA chairman Anit Thapa urged tourists not to visit Darjeeling in view of the COVID-19 outbreak
Authorities have barred entry of both domestic and foreign tourists to the Darjeeling hills from March 19 to April 15 because of Covid-19, but asked hotels not to chase away visitors who have already arrived.
The decision on the tourist bar was taken at a meeting convened by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration with various stakeholders like tour operators, transporters and educational institutions here on Wednesday. Darjeeling district magistrate Deepap Priya P. was also present at the meeting. “Let us not entertain any new tourists from tomorrow (Thursday). We request taxi drivers not to carry any tourists and no hotel should take bookings from tomorrow,” GTA head Anit Thapa said after the meeting.
“However, let us not chase away tourists who are already in town. Let them leave as scheduled as we need to maintain our tourist-friendly brand, too,” he added.
Most hotel owners said almost all tourists were scheduled to leave by Friday.
The GTA also asked the hotels to refund entire amounts upon cancellation of bookings.
Many homestays had stopped taking bookings since Tuesday. “We were feeling insecure at villages as people started accusing us of bringing truckloads of coronavirus,” said a homestay owner.
The GTA directed community centres like halls and auditoriums to cancel all bookings till April 15. Parents have been advised not to send their wards to crowded areas. “Schools are closed but many students seem to be in a vacation mood and are moving in crowded areas. Parents should ensure their social distancing,” said Thapa.
DM Priya P. also issued a notice that said “clubs, or, institutions within the district are to refrain from holding any event which requires large gathering of people and maintain “social distancing..”.
A participant said at the meeting that educational institutions across the country were closed and students were returning home from Covid-19-hit areas without proper screening.
Police have decided to spray bleaching power in Darjeeling at 9am on Thursday. The GTA will mobilise its workforce to boost health screening.

https://www.telegraphindia.com

Authorities have barred entry of both domestic and foreign tourists to the Darjeeling hills from March 19 to April 15 because of Covid-19, but asked hotels not to chase away visitors who have already arrived.

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