Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], June 15 (ANI): Following the Himachal Pradesh government's announcement that COVID-19 RT-PCR negative tests are no longer required to enter the state, tourists were seen flocking to Shimla on the weekend.
According to Mohit Chawla, Superintendent of Police (SP), Shimla, at least 5,000 vehicles entered Shimla from the Shoghi barrier on Saturday and Sunday.
"There is a huge influx of tourists after the state government relaxed COVID guidelines. We anticipated the increase in the tourist movement during the weekend, but what is heartening to note is that people are following COVID protocols," he said.
The SP informed that a total of 10 additional police reserves are deployed in the whole district along with traffic police to manage the influx of tourist vehicles.
"Around two and a half to three reserves are stationed alone in Shimla city along with city police to manage the tourists. Patrolling parties are guiding the tourists and we are requesting them to follow Covid protocols," he added.
On Friday, the Himachal Pradesh government under the new guidelines lifted Section 144 in the state and now negative RT-PCR tests are no longer required to cross the state borders.
However, the state has extended the 'Corona curfew' till 6 am on 14th June but with relaxed norms. Now intrastate public transport is allowed to operate with 50 per cent occupancy and shop timings have been increased from 9 am to 5 pm.
On Sunday, roads leading to the state saw massive congestion, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Himachal Pradesh reported 326 new COVID19 cases, 664 discharges, and 7 deaths on Monday. Total cases in the state have reached 1,98,876, while the death toll has crossed 3382. (ANI)