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New Relaxations in Corona Curfew in Himachal: Read What’s Permitted, What’s Not

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Shimla-Corona Curfew in Himachal Pradesh would continue along with the guidelines/ SOPs issued from time to time but additional relaxations have been added. The decisions to allow more relaxation in curfew came in the HP Cabinet meeting held on June 22, 2021. The Himachal Pradesh Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA) has also issued a new notification regarding the same. 

While some of the relaxations would come into force from June 23, others would be applicable from July 1.

Earlier, the Cabinet had decided that there will be no requirement of an e-pass for entry to the State from July 1st. However, the government changed its decision later and said the system would end from June 23. 

Though the health experts and the Centre government has issued repeated warnings of the third wave predicted to arrive within the next 7-8 weeks, the HP government has decided to throw open state borders without any restriction or monitoring. At the same time, the Centre government has today written to affected states over the new variant – Delta Plus – a matter of greater concern.

Based on the recent findings of INSACOG, the Union Health Ministry has alerted and advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh regarding the Delta Plus variant of COVID19 being found in some districts in these States.

INSACOG has informed that the Delta Plus Variant, currently a Variant of Concern (VOC), has increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells, and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response.

Monoclonal antibodies are artificial antibodies that mimic the activity of our immune systems.

The ministry today informed that this new variant has been found in 80 countries including India.

Despite this, the State government didn’t consider it necessary to monitor visitors from the states affected by the Delta Plus variant through e-pass or RTPCR report.

It’s pertinent to mention that in wake of its failure to provide relief to the worst-hit tourism industry, the state government was under huge pressure from the hoteliers and stakeholders in the tourism industry to waive off restrictions on tourist entry into state for the remaining peak tourist season.

Also Read: Read Eight Reliefs That Himachal’s Devastated Tourism Industry Seeks from HP Govt  

Corona Curfew Relaxations to Come into Force in Himachal From June 23

  1. All markets, malls, shops etc. are allowed to open up to 8 PM.
  2. There will be no restriction on the timings of pharmacies/chemist shops and they will remain open as per their normal operating hours.
  3. Restaurants/dhabas/other eateries & bars are permitted to now remain open upto 10 PM.
  4. All social academic/ entertainment/ cultural/ political and other congregations including marriage celebrations and functions are permitted with up to 50% of the capacity, subject to a maximum of 50 persons in indoor built-up/covered areas.
  5.  In open spaces, gatherings will be allowed with a ceiling of a maximum of 100 persons.
  6. Gathering in Funerals/Cremations are allowed upto 50.
  7. All cinema halls, entertainment parks, theatres & auditoriums, assembly halls, clubhouses, golf courses and gymnasiums are allowed to open up to 10 PM with 50% capacity.
  8. Sports Complexes are permitted to open for sports activities including outdoor sports activities except for contact sports (Spectators will not be allowed).

New Curfew Relaxation from July 1, 2021

  1. All offices of the Government Department/ PSUs/ local bodies/autonomous bodies including the H.P. Secretariat will operate with 100% attendance from 01.07.2021 (FN).
  2. Medical colleges, Ayurvedic colleges, Dental colleges, Nursing and Pharmacy colleges are already allowed to. Engineering colleges/polytechnic and ITIS will also be allowed to reopen from July 1st
  3. Detailed guidelines & SOPS in this regard will be issued by the Department of Technical Education, Himachal Pradesh. All other educational, training, coaching institutions etc. will continue to remain closed till further orders.
  4. Religious places/places of worship are allowed to open from July 1 for darshan only with the condition that they follow requisite SOPS issued by the Department of Language, Art and Culture, Himachal Pradesh. No kirtan, bhajan, jagratas etc. will be permissible.
  5. Inter-State movement of public transport buses/contract/stage carriages will be allowed from July 1st with 50% of the registered seating capacity as per SOPS issued by the Department of Transport, Himachal Pradesh.

General Directives for COVID Management

The following General Directives for COVID-19 Management shall be strictly followed throughout the State:

  1. Face coverings/ Masks: Wearing of face cover/ mask properly is compulsory in public places, shopping areas/ shops/ markets/ malls and workplaces; and in public & private transport.
  2. Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places
  3. Spitting in a public place will be punishable with a fine, as prescribed under laws, rules or regulations.
  4. Consumption of paan, gutka, tobacco, and similar products in a public place is prohibited.
  5. Proper ventilation of closed spaces to be ensured.

 

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Shimla, Manali Receive Season’s First Spell of Snow, Cheers Tourism Industry

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snowfall in shimla 2021

Shimla-First spell of snow in Shimla’s tourist destinations, Narkanda and Kufri, has cheered the tourism industry as it would increase the footfall of tourists. Similarly, higher parts of Manali also reported a light spell of snow on Sunday evening. Lahaul-Spiti, however, reportedly witnessed heavy snowfall and Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, was closed for traffic. Parts of the Kinnaur district also recorded a spell of snow.

Chopal in Shimla had received 2-3 inches of snow, while Dodra Kwar recorded one foot of snow, according to the Met Department.

In Kullu, Jalori Pass had received 3 inches of snow, Rohtang top 2.5 feet, and Atal Tunnel 1.5 feet.

In Lahaul-Spiti, Koksar/Sissu had recorded 18 inches of snow, Keylong 8 inches, Darcha 12 inches, Udaipur 4 inches, Tindi 2 inches, Kaza 1 inch, and Lossar 2 inches of snow.

In Kinnaur, Chitkul had recorded 15.4 cms of snow, Kalpa 5 cms, and Sangla 7.62 cms. Nichar also received a light spell.

This change in weather has triggered a cold wave across the state. Further, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department had issued a yellow alert for December 5, 2021. The Met has predicted rain and snow on December 6 too. While the weather is predicted to be dry on December 8, the state could witness more rain and snow on December 7 and December 9, according to the Met Department.

Most roads, except in Lahaul-Spiti, remain open to traffic movement, the district administrations of Shimla and Kullu confirmed. Further, the administrations said preparations are being made to keep the roads clear in case of heavy snowfall.

This tourist season is crucial for the hospitality industry which was worst hit by the pandemic induced restrictions. However, the entry of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19 that has been termed as a variant of concern by the WHO-haunts the season. India had reported as many as 21 cases of Omicron till Sunday. If the HP Government decides to impose restrictions on the entry of the domestic tourist in view of the spread of the new variant, the hospitality industry could again face losses.  

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Himachal Achieves 100% Vaccination Target, OPD at AIIMS, Bilaspur, Inaugurated   

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has achieved the 100 percent target of the second dose of Covid vaccination, the State government informed on Sunday.  Himachal Pradesh has become the first State of the country in achieving the target of cent per cent vaccination of targeted eligible age group, it informed.  

According to the HP Government, all eligible 53,86,393 adults have been administered the second dose of the vaccine.

District-Wise Vaccination Details

District

Number of People Vaccinated 

Bilaspur  318150
Chamba 352605
Hamirpur 361954
Kangra 1140439
Kinnaur 68460
Kullu 322643
Lahaul-Spiti 25494
Mandi 738818
Shimla 634019
Sirmaru 410187
Solan 584326
Una 429298

A complete vaccination was performed first in the inaccessible areas and tribal areas of the state and Kinnaur district became the first district in the entire country to administer the second dose of the vaccine to all eligible adults, the government informed.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Member of Parliament and National BJP President, also addressed a felicitation ceremony of Covid Vaccination Workers at Bilaspur on Sunday.

Nadda also dedicated the first OPD at AIIMS Kothipura in Bilaspur. The AIIMS Bilaspur would be made fully functional within the next six months, said Nadda.

 

jp nadda at aiims bilaspur

JP Nadda at AIIMS Bilaspur

He said that the foundation stone of this institution was laid about three years back and it would have been completed a year ago, but the pace was affected due to the corona pandemic. He said that Himachal Pradesh has got an Rs. 500 crore Satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh at Una.

He also congratulated the State Government, doctors, health care workers and all the frontline workers for achieving this unique feat. 

Union Minister of Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh were also present on the occasion

 

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Himachal Records Fresh Spell of Snow, HP Met Issues Alert

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Shimla-The weather in Himachal Pradesh has taken a turn with a prediction of rain and snowfall till December 5, 2021. At the time of writing this report, Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti was receiving a fresh spell of snow, cheering the tourists, as well as, the hoteliers. So far, the traffic movement was normal in the region.

This has caused a sharp drop in temperatures across the state.

The District Administration of Lahaul-Spiti has advised the locals and tourists to avoid wandering to high altitude areas unnecessarily.

The HP Meteorological Department, Shimla, has also issued a yellow alert for December 2 and December 5. While the plains can experience light to moderate rainfall at a few places,  the middle and higher hills could witness widespread rain and snow on December 2.   

For December 4, the HP Met had predicted light to moderate rain across the state. For December 5, however, the Met has issued an yellow alert with a prediction of rain and snow at several places.

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