As travellers and tourists visiting Kashmir are testing Covid-19 positive in significant numbers, the government on Thursday said there will be mass vaccination of hotel staff across Kashmir Valley.
“Mass vaccination of hotel staff, drivers, houseboat staff, and others connected to the tourism sector as frontline workers will be started across all tourist destinations,” Srinagar deputy commissioner Mohammad Aijaz Asad said.
Asad said a special Covid-19 related training programme will be conducted for hotel and houseboat staff members to ensure that all SOPs are followed strictly while dealing with tourists and catering to the tourism sector. He asked the tourism stakeholders to ensure proper sanitation and hygiene in all hotels. He asked them to keep two rooms available as isolation rooms for tourists in case they test positive.
“As shared responsibility, each stakeholder has to work with the department concerned as a team to ensure effective tourism as well as effective dealing with the pandemic. In order to contain the spread of Covid-19 infection, all visitors coming by road would undergo testing at Lower Munda in the district Kulgam of South Kashmir," Asad said while chairing a meeting to review Covid-19 related situation at Tourist Reception Centre here.
He said the testing for travellers coming by road will start soon. So far, the government is only testing the travelers coming by air to the Valley at the Srinagar Airport. After their RT-PCR test, they are allowed to visit their respective destinations and later informed in case they test positive of Covid-19 infection.
The tourism players, during the meeting, asked the government that there should be separate hotel accommodation for the isolation of infected tourists, permission to tourists to the valley only after their RT-PCR test reports, improvement in the testing facility at the airport, and sanitation of hotels.
Meanwhile, district magistrate, Jammu on Thursday canceled all the permissions for fairs and exhibitions in the district in view of a sudden spike in the number of Covid-19 infections.
“The organizers of these exhibitions shall wind up their operations within 24 hours and concerned sub-divisional magistrates shall submit a compliance report to this office.”