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Although the number of recovered COVID-19 patients released from hospitals in India went up (as of November 26), the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also recorded a rise in the number of active patients as well as deaths. With the number of infected people in many states on the rise, steps are being taken by various local governments to bring down the numbers and prevent further spread. So before making your travel plans, check for the latest rules.
Recently, Himachal Pradesh has declared that Lahaul-Spiti valley will remain closed to visitors until March/April next year. Apart from fear of rising numbers, the harsh winter, the difficult terrain, and limited medical facilities have compelled the HP government to suspend tourist activities in the valley, including shutting of the famous Atal Tunnel connecting Manali with Spiti. The government has also declared night curfews (8pm to 6am) in Mandi, Kangra, Shimla and Kullu districts till December 15.
Night curfew in select cities have also been declared by Punjab, Rajasthan (districts of Jaipur, Bikaner, Udaipur, Ajmer, Jodhpur, and Kota), Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara) and Madhya Pradesh (Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Vidisha and Ratlam) However, the duration and daily timings may differ from state to state. The opening and closing of local markets, hotels and restaurants may be moderated in line with the curfew. Public gatherings, including social events such as weddings, may also have to follow prescribed timings and rules.
Maharashtra, which had been one of the worst affected Indian states, has made a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test report mandatory for people visiting the state from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa. The report should not be more than three days (72 hours) in case of airline passengers and four days for rail passengers. According to local media reports, air passengers without a negative test report will have to get themselves checked at the airport for a fee.
In Uttar Pradesh, the state government has imposed Section 144 in the capital Lucknow, thus prohibiting the assembly of four or more persons in any particular place.
Lockdowns over the weekends have been imposed in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district. Barring essential services, all stores will remain closed.
Apart from short-period lockdowns and night curfews, many states are implementing rapid antigen tests on those travelling by road at state or city borders, fining people for not wearing masks, etc.
Meanwhile, with the rise in COVID-19 cases, the central government too has announced new guidelines for the period between December 1 and 31. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs have asked states to implement containment measures on crowds. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the fresh guidelines for COVID-19 surveillance asked the states to strictly enforce containment measures and regulate crowds. The guidelines will be effective from December 1 to December 31.
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